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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

I feel like my butt was permanently planted on the cargo bike seat this weekend. Also, paired with the fact that we never stopped moving this weekend. Even when my butt wasn’t on the cargo bike – it was on my road bike. Here’s what the blur of a weekend entailed!

1) One last ride on the 4iiii Fliiiight

I wrapped up the riding portion of my 4iiii Fliiiight trainer review on Saturday night after the kiddos were successfully in bed (and while The Girl was out for a walk). This time I moved the trainer out in front of the TV in the TV/play room.

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I’ve been using one of my slightly older road bikes at home in the evenings to ride, though, it’s got all the latest power meter and head unit tech on it to capture all the data I need. Albeit, I really need to remember to bring home a touch bit of oil to make it quiet again. Given this trainer is all about quiet by using magnets, my drive chain needs to STFU.

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I ended up doing two workouts. The first was a Zwift ride, and then the second was a TrainerRoad 30×30 test ride I do for every trainer I review.

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I’m hoping to get that review written up either later tonight or by morning (Apple Watch Series 5 review first, well…lunch first, then Series 5 review). There’s currently a deal that goes through the week on the Fliiiight that gives you a Fliiiight + a Viiiiva dual ANT+/Bluetooth Smart HR strap for $499 (versus the normal $599). I know a lot of you are looking for that review to make your decision. The less nuanced version of that review will be that I think it’s a decent option for ERG folks (like TrainerRoad – albeit with some limitations if you’re a more powerful rider). But I don’t see a scenario where I’d recommend it for those doing regular Zwift riding (non-workout mode), and especially not for Zwift racing. It simply can’t put out the power. But again, there’s tradeoffs. No trainer is quieter than it, and if you’re a smaller/less powerful rider, it might work for you.

2) Back at the Castle:

There was so much riding the cargo bike this weekend. I would be able to tell you exactly how much riding, but the battery on my speed sensor (which quietly records rides and syncs rides) on the bike died a bit back and I’m too lazy to get it swapped out. But one of many trips was to the Castle to let the kids run around. We had friends in town, with one of their daughters the same age as ours.

Also, this meant I had four kids on the bike. Three in the bucket (2 toddlers + 1 infant), and one on the back (1 more toddler). I know…I forgot to get a pic with everyone from the side. Doh!

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I believe that’s currently a family record for us. Lucy the dog was not there…shame. And…our destination:

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After that, it was back home for a bunch more running around. Realistically, we never stop running around.

3) Riding them to sleep

Sunday morning we had Christmas family photos taken. That of course involved managing to get everyone semi-presentable, loaded onto the bike, pedaled across town, and then keep everyone semi-presentable for enough time to get at least one functional photo. Surprisingly, it mostly worked. It’s probably because we didn’t have Santa involved (this is what happens when you do). I’m sure at some point you’ll see the resulting photos up on The Girl’s Instagram page.

Afterwards we planned to take the kids to lunch at a restaurant. We actually almost never take the kids out to eat at any sort of sit-down restaurants, except at a few hand-picked pancake or similar places around town that cater well to kids. At the 1-3 year old age, it’s just a lot of wrangling rather than enjoying a quiet meal.

In any case, as we biked towards the restaurant the most amazing thing happened:

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All three kids fell asleep. For realz.

So…we kept on biking. For quite some time in fact. Doing random loops, you name it. Eventually we even stopped and took some photos by ourselves:

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Of course, approximately 7 seconds later P1 woke up, who then woke up P2, and then chaos ensued and P3 awoke as well.

Sigh. Off to get food we went.

4) Ikea Trip By Cargo Bike

Sunday afternoon (post-food) I solicited volunteers to ride to IKEA with me.

None took the offer.

Both of the toddlers were drafted anyway. They were operating under the mistaken assumption that if they stayed home they’d be allowed to watch movies instead. Umm…no.

I’d been slowly collecting a notepad list of things I needed. Mostly minor things, nothing of the large or bulky variety. So off into the sunset we pedaled:

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It’s roughly a 35 or so minute ride each direction, passing through city, farmland, and then back into a city-ish sort of area where IKEA resides.

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Inside, they got to wander like drunken bumblebees through the kids’ area for a few minutes before I eventually quarantined them in a shopping cart in order to make forward progress.

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I picked up another IKEA/SONOS speaker for the downstairs portion of the studio, as well as a bunch of power cords I needed for later this weekend at the Open House. I probably could have ordered them off of Amazon, but this was instant-gratification and pretty cheap anyway. Also, since when did IKEA start selling solar panels?

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Cool!

After that, we pedaled on home.

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It was dark by now of course, but the kids didn’t care. They were happy inside the cover of the bike, singing songs and watching the world go by.

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To them, this *is* their minivan. We don’t have anything else. We have snacks under their seat, along with smaller kid’s water bottles, extra blankets if needed and the whole bit. Heck, I put my phone on the Quadlock mount and let music stream down into the rest of the bike as we sailed through the night. They don’t know any different.

5) Kinetic R1 Testing New Firmware:

After the kids went to bed Sunday night, I zipped back down to the DCR Cave to pick up the Kinetic R1. I had received a new beta firmware update for it to try (to address some lingering accuracy issues). Loaded it up in the bike and pedaled back home:

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Then switched the bike from the 4iiii unit to the R1 and got everything all configured and ready. I was going to do a Zwift race, but of course with 70 seconds until the race started, the Zwift app froze/hung on the iPad and I couldn’t get it revived in time for the start. I swear – the number of times the Zwift app freezes during or just prior to races is astounding. It virtually never happens to me in any non-race scenario, whereas for any race/event I think I’m close to like 30% of the time right now.

So…with that failed, I just did loops around NYC instead. Win some, lose some.

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Collected a bunch of data, and then sent it back to Kinetic for analysis. They’re going to dig into it this morning.

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With that, it was 10PM and time to sit back and relax. Oh…wait, no, that didn’t happen. Instead, The Girl and I sat down at the kitchen table and loaded new sales into the sale page/database for another two hours while eating peach ring candy (including Apple Watch Series 4 and 5 deals, craptons of Fitbit deals, DJI deals, and GoPro deals…among others).

With that – have a great week ahead!

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10 Comments

  1. Hubert

    Ray, you really make this cargo bike a great investment!!
    Can’t blame you, we also do everything using bike in A’dam, except I bought mine before the electric craze started, so Ikea would be by car for me.
    Keep it up !

  2. andre

    When I read the “Back to the castle” headline I thought you went to a real castle. Did you know there is a medieval castle some 20 km from where you are? Worth a visit when the kids are a bit older: link to muiderslot.nl

  3. DS

    I’m glad to hear someone else has trouble with Zwift events. I gave up on the platform a year ago because of tech problems that only occurred for races and group events, such as the Dimension Data rides that were supposed to unlock a something-or-other and donate $ to their charity, but wouldn’t because the tech was wonky.

    I was running Zwift on Apple TV 4k, with companion app on an iPhone, and the typical problem was that the system wouldn’t deliver resistance, or I would be there at the start of the ride and everyone else would vanish, or I would ride with them and not be listed among participants, or some other defect that was only with group rides. Zwift tech support suggested I just unplug and restart my Apple TV, which worked, but by then I had missed the race or event.

    Slowtwitch had a thread on Zwift-AppleTV systems recently, and I was ready to give my experience, but I saw everyone else was farting rainbows about it, so I figured I was an outlier. Now I feel less alone.

  4. Yonah

    So are we going to see a review of the Sonos/Ikea speakers? (Seriously, thinking about getting a couple for the house for the holidays)

  5. John

    Hi Ray,

    Will the Suito review come out this week? Been waiting for that before pulling the trigger. Thanks for all the awesome content!

  6. Hi Ray

    I could really enjoy a Cargo bike review. What brand you have, how well it works for you, range, hills, most outrageous stuff carried & some thoughts on your choices. I’m thinking about a cargo bike, no kids, but a dog. I would mostly move stuff (and the dog) but occasional transportation of another adult would be handy. I’d like to hear your real world experience of cargo biking.

  7. Richard McDowell

    Good use of an Ikea high-chair I spot up the top 🙂

  8. Stu

    Where’s that 4iiii Fliiiight review? As a STAC Halcyon owner, I am interested to see how the new one stacks up (see what I did there?) and if in the long run whether it would be worth upgrading to the new magnetic unit would be worth it when they offer iiiit.