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DCR Open House Amsterdam 2018 Recap: Photos and videos!

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This past Saturday was the 5th annual DCR Open House, and most notably – the first time I’ve shown off the new DCR Amsterdam Cave. A spot that the construction crews finished moving out most of their tools around 1AM the night prior. When we say the paint was still drying…we truly do mean it!

It was also staggeringly bigger than any past DCR Open House. Nearly 200 folks showed up for the big event (with still more on the waitlist), with over 50 people showing up for the run. Holy cow! We never expected anything that big, and around the 200 person marker we might need a much bigger beer transport device than our cargo bike.  But more on that later!

The Morning Run:

First up on the day was the annual tradition of the morning run. The folks at All4running, a local running shop, offered their spot as both a starting point but also a place for everyone to store their gear. We had initially thought of having a friend stay with our cargo bike and people could stash stuff there. But then once the numbers soared to 50+ confirmed runners and a pile of ‘maybe’s, we realized our bike wasn’t exactly going to be big enough.  Thankfully, their store was:

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Plus, they had drinks and such both before and after, as well as lockers and a place to change. Oh, and even a nifty running track in case we just decided to give up entirely due to weather:

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Thankfully though, the weather turned out quite stunning. So after our quick photo session out-front, it was into Vondelpark to begin the run:

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We kept everyone together as one big group, rather than splitting it up. This worked out well, though did somewhat limit our routes simply because of the size of the group. Still, being a quiet winter weekend morning meant that we weren’t battling too many others out there.

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About 10-15 minutes into the run we made a quick stop at the IAmsterdam sign.  This was notable not because of its famed status, but because a day later, it’d be gone. The city has removed the permanent sign, though, the ‘travelling’ variants of it will remain popping up at events and such in the city.

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From there it was onto various side streets and canals as we worked our way across the city:

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Shane and Von were taking up the back as well, and getting photos and video snippets by bike.  About 30 or so minutes into the run we approached the gates of Olympic Stadium, where a beautiful track sits inside.

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Luckily, we had connections! A member of our group had keys to get inside and do a quick lap of the track. Super cool!

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Yes, that’s The Girl down below deciding to start sprinting on the inside lane past all of us. Because…The Girl.

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After we finished up at the stadium we headed the kilometer or so back to the running store where they had some drinks and other edible goodies waiting.

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Thanks to everyone who came out and ran. Luckily we got reasonably good weather this year, so that certainly made it easier. Here’s a map of the Strava route as well for those that are curious.

The DCR Open House:

Once we left the run it was straight to the industrial tools rental place to rent a large floor washing machine. I believe there’s a clip of it in Lama’s video down below. Then we had about 7 hours of frantic cleaning, sorting, and generally making the place look passable for the night. Exciting stuff like printing off signs to indicate a toilet was behind a mysterious door and ensuring said toilet was cleaned and stocked with toilet paper.

Shane (GPLAMA), Des (DesFit), Von (GPLAMA’s The Girl), and The Girl were all throwing down all on the cleaning front. Preparing bikes, hanging decorations, endless dust cleaning, and sorting last minute gadgets were on all the docket. And this crew nailed it!  Unfortunately, with all of that craziness I didn’t take any photos prior to the start of the event. Heck, I don’t even remember the start of the night – the door got opened and all of a sudden there were people as I was hanging things up. Eeks!

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Oh – and one reader, Johan, made the mistake of coming about 20 minutes early. He got assigned vegetable duty. Hundreds of pieces of chopped vegetables, so many vegetables. Poor guy sat alone in a storage closet chopping them all. You’re awesome Johan!

Now, I’ll be doing a full DCR Amsterdam Cave post and video in the very near future to run down everything that’s there.  But for now the general gist of the setup was slightly different of course, given it’s a party accommodating 200 people. Essentially the DCR Cave is a large industrial space split into two levels. The downstairs is as barebones as you get, whereas the upstairs is where the bulk of the DCR gear and testing/shooting/editing/etc occurs.

For downstairs, we had set up various stations for folks to check out and try things.  For example the CycleOps Rocker Plate thing, and the KICKR + KICKR CLIMB setups:

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In the back, we had a portion of my trainer collection placed up on pallets. I use pallets for lots of things around the Cave, but that’s probably a discussion for another time.

We had high-top tables set up everywhere, and in the back we had The Girl (as well as Von) as the bartender. With over 800 servings of alcohol, they were kept busy!  The Girl did an amazing job of organizing all of the food/beverage logistics of the party. You can see a few photos of that within the overview video below.

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Oh, but the real goods were upstairs I suppose. That’s where my main studio is. In that, we had the Tacx Neo 2 and Tacx Neo Smart Bike setup, as well as a Kinetic Rock & Roll 2018 trainer and an Elite Zumo trainer.

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Down the hall a bit was the storage room with all of the gadgets. This isn’t quite finished yet in terms of unpacking, but a huge shout-out to Des here in making the mad scramble to get many more boxes unpacked and cleaned in the hours leading up (many, many hours). You’ll see a bit of a snippet of that in Shane’s video as well.

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And finally in the back we have the kitchen, offices, and a couch. People used that as a bit of a lounging/reprieve from all the craziness elsewhere.

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Also, it’s where I happened to answer a lot of questions:

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Meanwhile, around 9:30PM or so I did a bit of a Q&A. GPLAMA came up with the idea, and it worked out really well.

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You can see a few of the questions in the overview video down at the bottom.

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I think it lasted maybe 25-30 minutes? I’m not sure – it lasted until my voice was starting to die.

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After that it was time for a grand giveaway. Clever Training had sent over a huge box full of all sorts of things. This included a boatload of t-shirts, but also watches like the Garmin Forerunner 35 and Fenix 5 Plus. So we gave away a ton of stuff for a while.

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And then The Girl reminded me that I had more stuff upstairs that she set aside to giveaway, so while I fetched that, she answered some questions too.

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After which, it was back to drinking beer and playing with sports tech. Folks stayed till around 1:30-1:45AM – mostly as the beer supply started to dwindle.  As an aside, I did find it cool how many people came by bike. Early in the evening before the peak, I snuck out and shot this photo outside:

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There were smaller piles of bikes parked here and there not in this main section as well though.

But – no matter how people came, I really want to thank everyone for coming out for the event. Folks flew in from all around the world – well beyond the typical pedaling range of Amsterdam. Many people came in from the UK, one man from Ukraine, numerous from Germany, France, Belgium, and of course Australia (GPLAMA) and the US (DesFit).

Speaking of which, both guys put together some cool videos. First up is DesFit’s video – which he did 100% of the work on, and then handed over to me to publish on my channel. It’s a complete overview of the morning run and the night. If you haven’t subscribed to DesFit’s channel – you should absolutely do so. Tons of cool sports tech content, especially wearables and cycling.

And then Shane (GPLAMA) put together a preview walk-through of the DCR Cave about 90 minutes before the open house. You can still see us all working as efficiently as possible to set things up before everyone arrived.

Totally awesome – and actually some pretty hilarious little snippets in there.

Oh, and I leave you with a pic of Harry and I. He’s made it to 4 out of 5 DCR Open Houses AND Open House Runners – the current record holder!

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But again – a huge thanks to everyone that showed up, we really appreciate it.  And we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

(P.S. – Huge thanks for many of the pics here to Des, The Girl, Tim, David, and Shane. I managed to take like 5 photos the night of, so without their collective photos, this post wouldn’t have happened.)

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44 Comments

  1. Sergio

    That’s amazing. You really are the best blogger out there.

    I’ve been reading the site for some six years now, it only gets better.

    And the space is HUGE! I had no idea from seeing the videos/pics.

    Congratulations and keep up the amazing work!

    Maybe I’ll schedule a trip for next year’s bash.

    😀

  2. ScottE

    Congratulations on the Grand Re-Opening!

    Looks like an awesome time, and really is a legit space.

    Boy, I’m exhausted just watching all the prep work.

  3. Thijs

    Thanks again for having us all! It was a lot of fun talking to so many different people. I spotted myself on 3 pictures so far 😁

  4. Niels Thijssen

    A word of gratitude to have met you all (Ray, Shane, Von, The Girl, Des), and see how it’s organized! Well done!! Hope to see you soon, all the best and enjoy the flowers! And spotted myself also on one of the photos, cool!!

  5. Willem

    Awesome you we’re here in holland. Hope you had a great time!
    Looking forward to the polar vantage reviews

  6. Frank

    The link to the running store if some other people wonder :

    link to all4running.nl

    will check them out next time i run the amsterdam marathon (in oct)

  7. Sam

    I just subscribed to desfit chan! pretty cool guy!

  8. Ronald

    Looks like a great time. Though not really in a hurry to be in Amsterdam in December…looks cold. We will be in Amsterdam for a little about a week after Marathon Rotterdam this spring though.

    Anyway, serious question. With all the biking culture in Holland, along with seeing all the beers served at your party and seeing how many people came by bike, it got my wondering, are there problems associated with cycling under the influence of alcohol in Holland and other parts of Europe? I’m certainly not trying to accuse people your party of acting irresponsibly, it just got me thinking about whether it is a problem in general.

    • Thijs

      Hi Ronald, to answer your legit worry about drinking and cycling culture:

      Yes, there is an official alcohol limit whilst cycling. But in general, taking the bike when drinking is considered a good thing (because you didn’t take the car).
      We have an abundance of dedicated cycling paths here, which might be the reason why it is considered relatively safe. Also, a very bike-oriented traffic culture, so when you drive a car on a Saturday night and you see a cyclist swerving around weirdly, you’re generally not that surprised by it.

      To illustrate, I had to take an alcohol breath test once in my entire life. I was drunk beyond belief and on my bike, as I did most weekends at the time. I was given a warning, but only because I was in the possession of a driving license. They basically told me that if I blew that high of a score again I’d get my driving license suspended, even if I was cycling. No fine was given.
      (I really don’t know why I remember that so clearly by the way, it must have been around 4 AM and I really was drunk off my mind…)

    • Instead of carnage and cars wrapped around telephone poles you just get bikes in the canal – link to youtube.com 😉

  9. Thanks for the cool party! You forgot Finland from your list of countries in attendance 😉

    On the way back I was in serious danger of losing my valuable raffle prize. I wish I could have captured the bewilderment of Amsterdam airport security when they were trying to decide whether the all-metal Clever Training jump rope should be allowed through. The process involved at least 4 people and twice they called in a more senior person to assess the situation. I don’t know what would have happened if I wasn’t able to improvise and explain in vivid detail the use cases for and all the advantages of an all-metal jump rope.

    • Shorting out high voltage power lines? Holding very large weights? A normal jump rope won’t cause much damage if sucked into an engine, but a metal one? Thats what you’re looking for, right?

    • Sorry about Finland. There were a bunch of countries and I just sorta ran out of steam. 🙂

      That’s hilarious on the jumprope!!!

  10. Dave

    Looks like it was a great event! Seeing as you now have a bigger space, and it’s clearly popular enough, maybe you should consider a summer event?

    • Yup, we’ve (Lama, Des, Von, and The Girl) talking it a lot since Sunday morning, and how that might look. It’d likely take a bit of a different structure than the annual Cave Open House, but perhaps a bit more interactive as an all-day event with rides, testing gear and such.

      We’ve been talking about ideas nonstop since.

  11. Paul

    Why you have a gondola ? 🙂

  12. Alex

    Ray, I’ve been reading your website for around 5 years and I’m so glad that you’ve got an huge pack of followers, it’s all well deserved.
    Hope that I can find time to take part to next year Open House Event 🙂

  13. Arno

    Great to be there, indeed a huge ‘cave’, well organised and with lots of gadgets and trainers. Thanks for inviting us!

  14. Jean-Christophe

    Well done ! I like the gondola.

  15. Phil Harvey

    Thanks heaps for having us and the post.
    Had an amazing time and it was great to talk to you all.
    Looking forward to next year and to any other activities that come up.

  16. No contest of who could make the Moxy read the lowest value? (SmO2 sensor) Or a breakdown of the tech on the bikes that were ridden to the event? Its not Kona, but its close…. :-p

    Nice light setup in your upstairs though surprised you’re leaving an empty cement ceiling for the acoustics

  17. Robin

    The cave looks amazing! Tons of kudos

  18. Hi Ray,
    …if culture of personality You can buy. Its amazing for me to look how You are building Your social Cave.
    No personal relationships, in fact just fascination of unnecessary things. Use Your brain 😉 Can You do some, what has social impact? You have got potential.
    Ciao Richard

  19. Domen

    Just like your work, it seems that this open houses are getting better and better each year. I really hope that some day I will be able to attend.
    Also thumbs up for the new cave (especially for gondola) and for this recap for those who were not there.
    Uh, and I notice Boels decal on those floor washing machine and now I know what they do, other than sponsoring Boels Dolmans cycling team. 🙂

    Keep up the good work.

  20. Frank

    Thanks for the hospitality!

    The Girl did a great job behind the bar although her bitterball-skills need improvement 😉 Next time get yourself a deep fryer!

    Thanks again.

  21. Efraim Shaw

    This thing converts digital documents into physical documents. LOL!!

  22. Andrew

    A group ride would be an even bigger event?

    • Definitely, we thought about doing so for Sunday morning actually, but the challenge in December is really the weather. Certainly most Dutch cyclists would be good for a ride, but we were a bit concerned with having a large group of 50-100 folks out on what could be wet and slippery roads and having something go wrong (and in fact, Sunday morning was super fugly).

      That said, stay tuned for ideas for warmer weather group ride ideas!

  23. Niels Thijssen

    Just an update: I did make use of the Clever Training coupon code, and am now proud owner of the Garmin Vector 3 dual system (received them 2 hours ago). Thank you, Ray, The Girl and Clever Training for this opportunity!

  24. I’ve been following your blog as well, for ages now (don’t really remember since when, to be honest). Excellent work, year after year, and I’m happy to be a supporter.

    And just read, summer event? Interesting!

  25. Michael,Petrovski

    Of course there were a lot of people: when it’s for free the Dutch are always present…