5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

It’s on the verge of getting super warm and steamy in our neck of the woods. So, we’re skipping town. But before we did that – here’s the bulk of what I was up to this past weekend!

1) Friday Field Testing

For the most part I’ve been cycling more than running lately, though Friday afternoon I grabbed a pile of upcoming gear to review and headed out the door. Nothing too fancy for this run, just off into the farmland and slight forests of the nearby Bos park.


I do variants of this loop all the time, and it’s a good baseline for GPS testing with the variations along the way. I can also add a bit of buildings through Amsterdam Zuid if I want to see how well something responds to man-made GPS blockers. But for today that was unnecessary, I’d do it later in the weekend.

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I squeezed in the run just in time to have two minutes to spare before jumping on a call with LAMA to record the FIT File podcast for this past week, which you can find here as well.

2) Beer Ride

After the podcast it was time to do something of the utmost importance: Make space for more beer.

Well, that and find lunch. So we combined the two together and headed to the grocery store. Not to get beer, but to get rid of beer bottles. Somehow the crates upon crates of hundreds of beer bottles were still stacked from the DCR Open House back in December. On the ever revolving list of a million things to do, this never quite bubbled up high enough. So they sat. Plus, they looked pretty, and even were in the background of various videos and photos.

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This particular grocery store has its main bike parking outside at street level, but there’s also underground parking for cars. But it’s there that you’ll find the closest point for the beer bottle/crate return machines. So we headed down that way instead.

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Once inside we shifted everything to the shopping carts and found the return machine. You can feed it bottles individually (for usually 10 cents back), or you can feed it entire crates of bottles. We did both.

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It’ll then count up the crates/bottles as you send them in, giving you the total on a screen. After which it’ll print out a receipt you can take to the cash register to apply towards purchase, or receive as real cash.

We hit one snag in that two of our crates had bottles from mixed brands. Apparently that’s a no-no. So we had to re-shuffle some and then ultimately end up putting more in individually. Of course, we could only fit about five crates worth into the bike without things getting sketchy. So there’s a few more trips to make still.

3) Tweaking the DCR Cave

It seems most remodeling projects start as something silly and innocent: Hey, let’s paint this closet door.

Then, a day or two later, it’s like: 12 trips to Home Depot, four less walls, three new appliances, and 28 buckets of paint later – we’re 25% done.

Basically, that’s how it happens. And it’s not terribly different at the DCR Cave this past week, and into the next while.

Sure, the entire upstairs area that’s the main studio/offices/etc is all good and done. Some minor tweaks here and there like the lighting recently, but on the whole those are mostly gradual changes.

Downstairs though, we’ve done almost nothing there at all, which includes the unseen storage ‘closet’ that’s been the dumping ground of un-packed stuff. And the term “closet” would be an understatement. Because the closet in and of itself is more than twice the size of our original Paris CupCakery. So, The Girl and I tackled that first, which involved lots of building shelves and sorting of gear and old Cupcakery boxes.

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Then we moved to the main area of the downstairs cave. Moving everything to the center of the room (which now looks like a disaster area) so The Girl could access the walls. The next project being painting. The Girl started painting all the walls, and she’s a solid 3/4’s done, work slowed as she is tackling the second set of stairs. My parents got volun-told into doing the first set of stairs last month when they came and visited. So now with The Girl painting the rest of the Cave, it’s starting to look pretty nice:

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Anyway, the whole scene is a gigantic mess (and time suck) right now. But there’s honestly no better time to do it – especially with the DCR Summer Open Cave/House coming up next month. We have spent the last few weeks of “date nights” back at the Cave, just getting the stuff done that’s not necessarily “work”, but still somehow work stuff. If you get me on that?

Speaking of the next Open House, if you haven’t registered yet for the DCR BBQ – you better get on it. We’re about at 75% of capacity. After which the waitlist begins (and given the registration timeframe is much shorter this time around, I don’t expect as many people on the waitlist to clear. Also, I’ll likely have to close the morning group ride registration sometime in the next day or two, as we’ll hit our max caps for that shortly (due to roadway group logistics).

4) Off to the Zoo!

Saturday morning it was off to the zoo with the kiddos. My parents had gotten the girls an annual membership there, and while both Peanuts and The Girl had been numerous times, I’d somehow not made the trek yet. And I’ve gotta say, that’s a shame – it’s super nice there. I felt like the zoo would be what happens if Crate and Barrel and a botanical gardens had a zoo-baby. Everything was very chic and super pretty.

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The other big theme is that for the most part there weren’t huge fences or never ending concrete walls. They instead mostly used water moats to separate animals from humans.

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And then in other cases simply massive panels of glass.

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Really cool. Oh, and they had little wagons to pull the kiddos around. Which lasted about 6 seconds before they then wanted to walk instead. And then after walking for 1 minute, one Peanut would want back in the cart. Triggering the other to want the cart now too. Rinse, repeat.

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We only saw a portion of the zoo this trip, but given it’s located in central Amsterdam, it’s pretty easy for us to get too. Just a few blocks or so from the Heineken brewery. Roughly.

5) Flew to Zakynthos

For non-Europeans, it’s likely you’ve never heard of the Greek island listed above. However, I suspect if you’ve spent enough time on YouTube, you’ve probably seen the iconic shipwreck beach that has popularized this island. If you haven’t seen it yet, then fear not – neither have we. We just got in Sunday late afternoon and have instead been lounging around the pool at our AirBNB spot up in some olive grove.

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Eventually we’ll check out the famed spot. But mostly The Girl and I are here to relax…away from the kiddos for a few days. It’s gonna be a crazy remaining summer and especially busy fall, so this is probably one of the last times we’ll have some getaway time to ourselves for a while. Thus, we’re gonna do what all parents do when away from the kids: Nothing. And eat.

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I brought both openwater swimming stuff as well as running stuff. No idea if I’ll do either. We’ll see.

But fear not, I’ve got some good stuff lined up for you this week. I’m super excited about something mid-week. But, more on that…well…mid-week.

With that – thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead!


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  1. Andy Jelagin

    Hi Ray – Speaking of random things, did you ever do the drawing for last weeks giveaway? Haven’t seen a posting (or my loot!):

    link to dcrainmaker.com

  2. redRover

    Two quick questions-

    1. Where is the gondola car from?

    2. You mentioned the tall buildings as “man made GPS interference”, but have you ever seen an actual GPS jammer impact your results? I imagine being near Schiopol such a thing would get shut down pretty quick, but maybe in Paris or elsewhere you’ve seen it?

    • 1) I got it online, though the exact origins of which resort(s) it was originally at are super hard to come by. I asked the seller and they didn’t know, and then I asked the original manuf, but it was from before they started putting serial numbers on it. Given the languages inside, the suspicion is Germany, Switzerland, or Austria. But hard to know exactly. When I asked CWA (the manuf), this is what they said:

      “According to your picture it is a cabine type DELUXE from CWA.
      We started the production of this typ in 1965 (more than 3’000 were produced on more than 70 installations, also for the US market).
      I guess the cabin was in use in Austria or in Switzerland.”

      2) I haven’t seen/tried GPS jammers.

  3. Peter Speight

    As a parent who lives away from grandparents (like you and The Girl), how do you manage to get away sans kiddos?

  4. Robert

    Love Zante, enjoy the earthquakes, must be five or six a day going from our recent trip.

  5. Geraint Morris

    What’s that red thing on a pallet that looks like a cable car thing? (In the cave) :-)

  6. andrei

    Zakynthos is awesome. spent 9 days there a few years ago. very peaceful island. rent a car and try all those clear-water beaches. and of you want some fun in a club try the town of Laganas.

  7. Kevin

    Not close to AMS, (60-90 mins east) but this place is pretty cool. The kiddos will love it.

    link to apenheul.com

  8. Charlie Anderson

    Random question sparked by your run photo:
    Does Europe or the Netherlands specifically have wood ticks? Never hear them mentioned when referring those locals.

  9. T v D

    Yeah we do, and deer ticks, the ones which spread lyme desease. We actually have a lot. So if you’ve been in tall grass you have to check yourself.

  10. Marko

    What happened with “Week in review” recently? Really liked to read that :(

  11. Pete Parfitt

    Love Zakynthos.

    Been to Garden Village in Kalamaki a few times.

    If you want a good hike the route from the village to the church on the top of the hill is cool (or actually was about 35C when I did it last)

  12. GK

    Welcome to Greece! Enjoy Zakynthos beautiful beaches and avoid Laganas. :-)

    Instead of Laganas try some Lagana bread with taramosalata and olive oil!

    You are also lucky because you will avoid the heatwave in Central Europe this week!

    Have fun!

  13. Monkswhiskers

    I am over on Kefalonia, the next island. I can’t believe I’m so close to the great DC Rainmaker! You should definitely do some OW swimming, it doesn’t get much better than these conditions. Don’t forget sunscreen though :)
    incidentally, I’ve been swimming 2 miles a day here with my AW3 and it has been faultless, nailing the distance every time.