DCR Cave Winter Open House Registration Is Now Open! Nov 30th, 2019

Yup, you read the title right! It’s the annual winter DCR Cave Open House! We’re keeping things to the exact same weekend as last year, which almost means we’re getting organized and consistent these days. Almost. But far more important is that both Des of DesFit and GPLama (Shane Miller) will be making the trek again up to the Cave. And, we’ll be adding in the live ‘studio audience’ FIT File Podcast recording as well! This is our 6th annual winter open house (plus the summer one we did this past July).

Here’s the first, second, thirdfourth, fifth, and finally summer edition, DCR Open Houses!

Last year’s open house was massive! With nearly 200 people showing up, despite strong and windy sideways rain (in other words, just another Saturday in Amsterdam). Additionally, last year the open house registration filled up super quick (we’re capping it again), though we will have a waitlist again, just in case someone else decides they have something better to do (what?!?).

As with all years, the event is broken up into two basic pieces: The morning run, and the evening open house party. First up in the morning we’ll head out for a group run. We’ve mostly lucked out on weather ever year we’ve done this…ignoring the one time it was well below the freezing point. So hopefully the trend holds true. The run is ‘no-drop’, so nobody is left behind, and we’ll do about 10KM at a fun pace, stopping to take a few photos along the way.

After that it’s a great time to explore Amsterdam for the day, especially if you’re coming from out of town (about 30-40% of folks last year came from around beyond the Netherlands, and even the US!). A lot of people make a fun weekend out of it. Come in Friday after work, enjoy the Amsterdam nightlife, do a morning run and then spend the weekend seeing the sights. Your significant other is more than welcome at the Open House!

The open house portion is where you’ll explore the DCR Cave, and all the goodness inside of it. We’ve got a crazy pile of gear right now in there, from the Wahoo KICKR Bike to the Oreka bike platform, to the True Kinetix Bike, and maybe even the Saris MP1 platform by time the end of next month rolls around. Or, you can just stare into the ever-bright overkill amount of studio lights.

We’ll be doing a live recording of the FIT File Podcast like we did this past summer, including a bulky Q&A section for all your questions. It should be lots of fun! And this time we’re actually recording the whole thing on video too (we’ll see on Nov 30th how prepared I actually am….).

Of course – there’s an endless supply of beer and wine. I think we had more than 800 servings last winter. Seriously folks, you know how to party! Oh, and The Girl rocks the bar for bartending:

Plus of course, everyone can just chat and catch up. Lama, Des, and myself will be floating around for all the geek-talk you can imagine (how do I not have a good pic of all three of us together?!? Someone remind me this year!).

And lastly, we’ll have a giveaway. It wouldn’t be complete without an epic giveaway!

Looking for recaps of last year? No problem, ask and you shall receive! First up the complete event recap (put together by Des):

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.

And then Des delivered hilarity on the highest order of magnitude with this short video:

With that – I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there, hit up the registration link down below to get started!


For the Open House:

Date: Saturday, November 30th, 2019 – 7PM (19:00)
Location: Exact location sent via e-mail a few days ahead, but near the VU Medisch Centrum (VU University Medical Center/Hospital) in Amsterdam Zuid
Closest Tram Stop: VU Medisch Centrum – Tram Line #24 (2-minute walk)
Bike Parking: Plenty, more than you’d know what to do with
Car Parking: There is limited parking in the general vicinity
Food: We’ll have various appetizer & dessert items…and lots of beer and wine!
Price: Free of course!

For the DCR Group Run:

Date: Saturday, November 30th, 2019 – 9:30AM
Address: We’ll start somewhere more central Amsterdam, likely from near the western side of Vondelpark

This group run will take us on an approximately 10KM route around Amsterdam. While the famous IAmsterdam sign in front of the Rijksmuseum is no longer there (last year we managed a group photo the day before they removed it!), we’ll certainly try and find an equally iconic spot for the annual group photo. And ya never know, maybe the roaming signs will be within running distance!

Like last year we’ll have a place for you to store any bags/clothes/Haribo you want to leave during the run. Actually, scratch that – I can’t guarantee secure Haribo storage, but for everything else I’ve got ya covered!

Upon return, we’ll have some goodies to help you replenish your nutrition for a few hours. And again, we’ll leave nobody behind on the run – so fear not!

Get Registered!

For the open house simply use the form below to sign-up (just so I can figure out how much cheese, beer, and wine to buy…and cupcakes to make!). We’re using a different registration system this year, which I hope will make things way easier (mainly for me, but also for you). If you want to register multiple people (such as your lovely significant other), you can easily do so. Plus, it’ll make it easier for me to send you updates along the way.


I’ll use the e-mail provided to send the final details (and a reminder) as we get closer to the date. See ya there!

Note: Folks from various sports tech companies are of course more than welcome! Just be sure to bring enough devices for everyone. Kidding! Or not.


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  1. Rob Vonk

    I’d like to join the morning run. Have other plans for the evening (also fun)

  2. Frank Bauer

    Thanks for hosting the open house! Excited to join the event.

  3. Rudolf

    What times are you aiming for for the 10K? I recently ran a 10K in 58 mins.

  4. MattB

    Huh, who’d have thunk it… it seems the wife are staying just round the corner from the DCR cave this weekend for the marathon! Sadly I don’t think we’d make it back over from the UK so soon again for the OpenHouse. I guess there’s always next year!

  5. Ihsan

    Pretty soon, you will have to provide child care Ray! P1 through P3, and then there’s the baby Llama. It’s going to be a fun caliper of days for the kiddies! And the attendees of course.

  6. Gerónimo Díaz Ruiz

    I’d like to go and join you this year

  7. Marc Simkin

    Hi Ray:

    What places are there to stay near the cave or how easy is it to get to the cave from the city center? Thanks for picking Thanksgiving weekend!

    • Michel

      Hi Marc, can answer that for you. There are quite some hotels around most near Rai Station which is 10 min away from VU. From city centre it’s also really easy: take the subway “North-South” line (from central station through city centre) in less than 10 min to Amsterdam Zuid station which is a 5 min walk to the VU.

    • Michael Adrian

      For the summer event we stayed at the Olympic Hotel (as recommended by Ray for this specific occasion) and liked it a lot.

      Especially the breakfast was outstanding in my opinion.

      Also, the rooms were quite spacious and exciting furnished.

    • Hi Marc!

      Looks like folks have helped out already, and the same answers I’d give. Getting to the most central parts of Amsterdam is super easy via a variety of public transport options. Or bikes. Many hotels have bikes, and if not you’ll find bike rental spots on almost any central Amsterdam street for $10-$15/day. Typically it’ll take me 15-20 mins to pedal from the Cave to Central Station. Pretty efficient…and scenic.

      As for hotels, a few people tried out the brand new Olympic Hotel. I’m still jealous. I pass it a few times a day going to/from the studio, and it overlooks on one side a stunningly nice track, and the other side Olympic stadium. And the third side a nice canal. I’ve never stayed myself, but the views look nice!

      Hope this helps!

    • Marc Simkin

      Thank you everyone for the suggestions.


    • Marc Simkin

      Ray, one other question. Would it be possible to sign up at the last minute, for example the week before? My father is not well. Not sure I want to book a trip abroad right now.

      Btw, I’ve looked at the Olympic Hotel. I can burn my British Air points on the hotel stay.



    • Hi Marc-

      Honestly, I’d reserve your spot now and then you can always cancel later. Certainly it’s very understandable given your situation.

      Of course, DCR Supporters also get guaranteed entry (see the e-mail I sent on Friday night), so I suppose it’s a wash either way.

      Fwiw – we’re at 75% of capacity as of a few mins ago.

      Also – that’s cool to know on using BA points for that hotel. I’d never though that. Is that directly on BA’s site? Good to know for some friends and family coming soon.


    • Marc Simkin

      Hi Ray:

      1) I books my spot. I’m just going to chance it and grad travel insurance. I need to get away, even if it just for a few days.

      2) Yes, it is on BAs site. A pain to find. Find you way to the “My Executive Club” page. On the left is a nav bar to book with Avios or money. Select payment type of avios, select the hotel radio button, and search away.

      I decided this was the best way to use my Avios. If I look to use them for a ticket, the fees were just as much as the ticket. For example, for a round trip business class seat between NYC and Amsterdam, they want $1,700 US. I would just buy the ticket at that price.

      3) What is the best way to get from Schiphol to the hotel? I will be arrive around midday on Friday.

      Thanks, and see you soon.


    • Marc Simkin

      I hate auto-incorrect. The first point should read:

      1) I booked my spot. I’m going to chance it and grab travel insurance. I need to get away, even it if is just for a few days.

    • Dang, that’s an incredible deal – only 11,700 Avios!

      Also, dang, I didn’t even realize you could book hotels only with Avios. I guess I should have realized that, but just never did. Notable because I’ve got so many Avios points from years as Gold that I could use them for random hotels like this (versus the bigger chains).


    • andre

      3: Train is fast and cheap. There is a trainstation right under the airport. Amsterdam Zuid Station is a 7 minute ride and cost you €3,- From there you could walk 1,5 km or take the Metro to Amsterdam Amstelveenseweg (1 stop)

    • Marc Simkin

      Andre. Thank you.

    • Yup – train is fast and cheap. I’d recommend doing the backtrack option Andre noted, only because while the 1.5KM walk is fine, it’s kinda wonky through a lot of buildings – so the ‘Getting lost’ potential is surprisingly high. If you do the switch to Metro for one stop, then it’s impossible to screw up getting to the Cave, as it’s on the same road a 5 min walk.

      Though, if for whatever reason you find yourself wanting to ride a Tesla, there’s a pretty good chance that an Uber from the airport will net you a Tesla. Typical time from airport to DCR Cave is 10-12 mins and 18-20EUR by Uber

  8. Kaz

    Just a quick comment.

    Should the event not be called the DCR Cave-In(n)


  9. Simon Raglione-Hall

    Going to have to skip this one as we’ll just have arrived in Seville for a holiday.

    See you Summer 2020 then probably

  10. Marc Simkin

    Separate questions.

    1) Is there an organized social group ride?

    2) What is the expected weather like?

    3) Since I’ve never been to Amsterdam, I’ve already planned some sight seeing on Saturday (private guided walking tour) and Sunday (Anne Frank house) mornings.Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon, and all day Monday are free. Suggestions for other things to see?

    4) Does it make sense to bring a road bike to get out and ride on my own or should I just rent a cruiser and wander around?



    • Hi Marc-

      1) No organized group ride, mostly due to the weather concerns. With the daily winter weather here being mostly rain, I’m hesitant to put 100 cyclists on the road together in wet/slippery conditions – especially with varying skill sets and not knowing all those roads as well as a group of locals might. So for the winter open house we keep to running, whereas the summer open house we go for a ride.

      2) I’d expect rain. Sideways rain. And lots of wind. And probably just a few degrees above freezing. That said – we’ve managed to luck out for every open house run to date and never had rain. So…knock on wood! Last year though for the evening open house it was definitely sideways raining, though that doesn’t matter given the massive indoor space we have (even for bike parking).

      3) I’m more of an outdoors person than a museum one. So for me I’d rent a bike and pedal somewhere – either casually or otherwise. The Bos is a pretty place to pedal, or you could go for a bit of a longer pedal out to the windmill. I’ve done that before on a regular cruiser bike, so it’s not horrible.link to en.wikipedia.org

      4) There’s some amazing riding from Amsterdam via road bike, but if the weather is typical…it’s less fun. I’d probably make that a game-time decision the week of. If it’s looking totally sunny, then go for it. But if it’s looking like all day everyday rain, I’d just enjoy meandering around the city on a cruiser.


    • Marc Simkin


      I’ll play it by ear and see how it goes.

      I will just mark my calendar for the spring/summer open cave and work on getting stronger.


    • Michael Adrian

      Hi Marc,

      We (my wife and I) have spent five weekends this year in Amsterdam just because we like the city so much.

      Cycling wise the summer is – of course – a much better time of the year to discover the roads in and around Amsterdam. End of September my wife participated in the Rapha Women’s 100 event and really enjoyed the landscape and the almost perfect roads. I’ve ridden basically the same route and can highly recommend it (see link to strava.com).

      That being said you could of course dress yourself in some warm cloth, grap a cheap rental bike and go for the famous Ronde Hoep (see link to strava.com; should take you much longer than 2h). We did that last weekend as well and despite the low-tech gear it was still fun.

      Depending on your personal interests I can also recommend the National Maritime Museum (https://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.com; a visit may take between 2-3h) and the Grachtenhuis (link to tours-tickets.com; takes you about 1h max).

      And one more thing: If you decide for cycling (or strolling) around the Bos-Area I’d highly recommend the Meerzichtfarm (see Ray’s post about it here: link to dcrainmaker.com). We’ve been there twice and pancakes are outstanding!

      Looking forward to meeting you at the cave!


    • andre

      3. You can take a canal tour by boat. It may be a typical tourist thing to do but it is still nice. We live here but we like it every now and then when we have guests. Takes about an hour or so. There are plenty of boats starting from the center, also one departing from Anne Frank house. https://www.lovers.nl

      There are some world class museums if you are into that.Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk museum, van Gogh museum. Can be busy in the weekends. If you go early (or in the evening if they are still open) you may avoid the crowds. Buy a ticket in advance to avoid waiting in line.

      4. End of november is probably cold. Still, if the weather permits a bicycle should be the best way to see Amsterdam. Area north of Amsterdam is also nice, get there by one of the free ferries that depart north side of central station.

  11. Thanos Gatos

    Still places available? I’ve already registered on Eventbrite a few minutes ago, but I was just reading the event was at 75% full on 20 October, so I thought I should double check before booking Airbnb etc.

    • I added a few more spots over the weekend, mainly so folks wouldn’t end up on the waitlist as I expect there to be some cancellations with the first information e-mail going out this week.

      However, as of this morning new registrations go to the waitlist. In theory the system will automatically clear people off the waitlist as people cancel (I saw it happen last week once).

    • Thanos Gatos

      Is there any clear way of knowing whether we ended up on the waiting list or managed to get in before it got full? In any case, I have already made arrangements and we’re coming to Amsterdam anyway, since it’s a great opportunity, but it would be awesome to be able to join you guys.

      Also, congratulations on the latest addition to the family! I hope you’re having some great time with the new peanut!

    • Yup – you would have received an e-mail, likely from Eventbright, at the time of registration, and it’ll have in the title “DC Rainmaker Open House Winter 2019”

      Fear not – I can see you’re on the confirmed attendee list (not the waitlist). So you just barely made it in!

      For those on the waitlist, I suspect after I send out the first e-mail update this week, I’ll get enough cancellations to clear those on the waitlist.

  12. Marc Simkin

    Ray, what is light situation on for hire/rental bike?

    I debating renting a cruiser bike for some of my stay in town. Maybe even us it to get from the Olympic hotel to the Cave.

    So I expect the rental bike to come with light, or are the bike paths lit bright enough to not need lights, or should I just plan on bring a bike helmet and front/rear lights?



    • All rental bikes you’ll find will come with bike lights. For example, Black Bikes (pretty close by and a bit of a chain around the city) do have lights on them (hard to see in the pictures, but you can see them when zoomed in, they’re off-set to the riders left side of each wheel): link to businesswire.com

      That said, as you’ll see, many Dutch people neglect to maintain their bike lights and the paths are all well lit. So it’s not entirely the end of the world.

      The distance from the Olympic Hotel to the Cave is a mere 5-8 minute walk, so pretty quick. But for getting around the rest of down – definitely!