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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

As we wind down the year, it seems just as busy as ever before. Here’s what we were up to on this holiday, geek, and bike-themed weekend wrap-up!

1) Year-end photo consolidation

(Warning: Photography geekery ahead, skip to the other sections for non photo/tech/geek stuff)

I probably buy more Micro-SD cards than loaves of bread each year. For real. Part of that, of course, is the never ending stream of devices (action cams, drones, cycling safety cams, other audio/video/camera gear, etc…) that require them, whereby I usually put in a brand new card for each device being reviewed. I do that mostly to ensure I’ve got plenty of space, but also because it’s handy to know that any issues aren’t likely due to it being an older card.

As such, I end up with boatloads of 80-90% filled cards. Most of the content has long been copied off to other drives and such, but I often forget to delete the original content on the card itself. Usually because sometimes I’ll just grab a photo or two from a post, but never the rest of the files.

In any case, I carry most of these in a few different dying Ziploc baggies, with cards falling out constantly. So, I decided to do something about it starting on Friday (and continuing all weekend): Operation Clean Card Act.

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My goal being to take every MicroSD card floating un-attached to a drone/camera/whatever, and offload everything and have a pile of totally cleaned/formatted/happy cards. As you can see above, that’s a lot of cards. Also, that’s not all the cards. That’s only the first batch.

My workflow was first to load the cards into this little DAS box (Direct Attached Storage). I bought this little unit last year to attach mostly to my Mac for editing, but occasionally use it as a middle-ground while moving files, before transferring them all to the main NAS (Network Attached Storage) server. Given this desk one seen above also has an SD card slot on the front of it, even better!

So I’d insert the cards, and then used a quick copy app for moving all the files to the internal disks. I started off using RoboCopy, but I found this free app was better at letting me glance and see how much time/files were left.

SD-Offload

Except, after like two cards I somehow ran out of space on this 16TB unit. WTF?!?!

Oh, right, I had also offloaded a few 2TB & 4TB external USB drives I used…which I hadn’t yet offloaded to the server. And apparently, as I discovered, I had the 2018 offload copies of those drives still sitting on that DAS box too. Oops!

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Well, crap – no space to continue Operation Clean Card Act.

So, I grabbed the box and plugged it into the back of the Synology NAS device I use, figuring that USB3.0 would mean a super quick transfer of all the content. Except, that didn’t work. For whatever reason I haven’t figured out yet, the Synology NAS simply doesn’t see this unit at all. Like, fans don’t even spin up type don’t see it. I don’t think it’s a formatting issue, but just some sort of weird connectivity issue.

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After an hour of troubleshooting and numerous cables/ports that otherwise work perfectly fine with everything else I have, I gave up and just started copying them via 1GB network to the server. I figured if I could offload a few terabytes I’d be good.

StillsavingFiles

Then, I went onto Amazon and bought a 10GB Ethernet adapter/dock for my laptop & Mac to use (the Synology DAS already has 10GB cards in it, and I already wired the studio for it). Problem solved for next time, and also gets me a bit of a docking station for my laptop. Also, the files are still copying.

2) Getting the Christmas Tree home by bike!

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In case you missed the post earlier today, we went out and did our annual Christmas bike pickup on Friday night. So hit up that post!

3) Moving the Saris MP-1 Platform

Generally speaking, almost everything that comes to the DCR Cave arrives directly to the DCR Cave. But for some weird reason, two different shipments incorrectly went to our home on Friday. And unfortunately, these were basically the two worst shipments to end up there. Sure, if a bag of dog food from Amazon goes to the wrong place – no biggie. But when a package delivered by freight courier goes to the wrong place…that’s a pickle.

We don’t have a car, let alone a freight truck. However, we do have a cargo bike…and bungee cords.

So Saturday morning me and Peanut #2 got to work attaching the load. Mostly, she sat on the back and giggled. I meanwhile pondered how best to get everything in one load.

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There were two main parts to this load. First was the gigantic Saris MP1 platform box, which was bigger in length than any of the indoor bike boxes (albeit a bit thinner). Second was a new table for the DCR Cave. I bought it off my favorite Dutch auction site, and it’s about 2 meters long. Plus a package of legs for the table.

However, in actuality, the two large loads actually did a great job of stabilizing each other, since they helped to fill up the cargo bike so it didn’t bonk around.

Unfortunately, about 2 meters down the road I realized I couldn’t turn left, the handlebars were blocked. So, I inserted a random modem I found in a closet near the front door from the owner to shift the load slightly forward, and that helped slightly:

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And by slightly, I mean…not at all. While my right turning radius was normal, my left turning radius was only about 1cm of handlebar movement, so any turns would take a huge swing around.

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No biggie, it’s a quiet Saturday morning almost exclusively on bike paths that meander. So off we went!

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It was a bit windy, as always, but I’ve long since gotten used to crazy sailboat like loads on the bike. Just go faster, it almost always works out.

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And at our arrival destination!

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Woot, another successful DCR Freight Fiets Delivery in the books!

4) Oreka Treadmill Ride

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Next up on Sunday was getting in the first ride on the Oreka Treadmill/Bike Trainer. I’m not exactly sure what to classify it, but it’s basically a treadmill for your bike (you can’t run on it). It arrived this fall, and while GPLama and Des and I got it all set up last month, we didn’t have time to give it the maiden voyage. So…that time was now.

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In a lot of ways it’s just like riding rollers. The feeling is different due to the belt, but the balance aspects are all the same here. Also, there’s an emergency stop button. The theory behind it is that it gives you a more road-like feel that mimics the outdoors better than a trainer.  After reading up on the documents and notes they sent me, I got on the bike and started pedaling. It probably took me about 90 seconds to get comfortable enough to let go of the bar, but once I did that it was pretty straightforward.

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However, I ran into some ‘quirks’ that after a few minutes had me decide to put on a helmet. Given I’m surrounded by concrete, this wasn’t me trying to be dramatic, but just practical. With a high-speed belt moving on its own accord, if something goes wrong, it’s going to go wrong very fast, and very hard in my case.

The price of this is roughly 1/3rd that of the Tacx Magnum bike treadmill thingy (roughly 3,000EUR vs roughly 9,000EUR). Neither are available outside of Europe, and after riding both – I’m pretty sure I know why you’ll never see either in the US anytime soon.

As for a review, after this first ride and a few other test snippets earlier today, Oreka has a pile of clarity-seeking things we’re working through via e-mail. A review of some sort will happen, but I just need to understand a few standout points after my first ride.

5) Santa Ride

Finally, because this post is waaaaaay longer than it should be, we wrapped up Sunday with a pedal to the southern reaches of the city to find Santa. Quite literally. We knew he was supposed to be in the mall during certain hours, but it turns out that means he meandered around the mall and you had to find him and his elves to get a photo with him.

First of course, was unloading the cargo bike of three kids into a shopping cart:

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Then it was going in circles till we saw Santa off in the distance. So we chased him down, shopping cart speeding along and all!

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They then print out a small little card for you to take home. But hey – at least it’s free!

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With that, we got back on the bike, got entirely drenched, and went home. Weekend complete!

Thanks for reading all, and hope everyone is able to enjoy the holidays!

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11 Comments

  1. Wow looking forward to the MP1 review.

  2. Peter

    The Oreka looks nice, however, it would be great to have a trainer like this which you could also use for indoor running. This would increase the flexibility, the space saving and thus the acceptance for the price.

  3. Csaba

    Your Urban Arrow bike is a superb practically means of transport!

  4. Mark S Mingelgreen

    Love reading your posts, Ray. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  5. Chris Benten

    Not sure I understand how a treadmill works for a bike…if one is doing a workout that calls for 400 watts (for example) and at some point you cannot hold it any longer….what happens? I see a Youtube video in the making…

    • So…it provides resistance, but actually not forward drive…in theory. But in practice…that was one of the issues I found – it just kept on going faster and faster uncontrollably.

  6. Tosin Akinmusuru

    What was the treadmill like when you were going downhill on the bike?

  7. Erkkimerkki

    Teracopy is great, totally worth buying. You get log files from copy operations as csv-files