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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

It’s been a while since the 5 Random Things has been around. Thus as things settle down a little bit, I figured it’s time to catch up. At least, for this past weekend. Here’s some of what I was up to.

1) Unboxing new gadgets

The boxes have been piling up this past week (more on that funny behind the scenes story in a few days – per the request of many of you after seeing my Instagram stories lately). So it was time to crack into some of them and get started.

This included the NURVV running insoles and pods, which actually have GPS on the side of them. But the key is the connected insole that measures things like pronation and foot strike balance.

Next there’s the Hammerhead Karoo 2 – a final production model (my previous post was on a prototype back in August). This was shipped straight from the factory, and my understanding is that the first batch of consumer units were headed out this week, with production ramping up to full speed over the next few weeks. The box design is a bit understated, but well executed.

Some products I unbox I’m like ‘Ok fine, they stuck it in a square box’ (e.g. most Garmin products except Vector or MARQ), some products I unbox I’m like ‘Nice, it’s got tons of detail on the outside (e.g. Wahoo bike computers), and others I’m just impressed with their Russian Doll stacking skillz (the Karoo 2 box). And then finally, others get awards for minimal to no plastic use and using recycled materials/etc (such as the GoPro Hero 9 packaging).

In any event, moving along – the Bryton Rider 750 GPS. This one has been in the development hopper a really long time and is compelling in that it’s a full color touchscreen with maps, as well as things like smart trainer control, and Varia Radar support.

More on all this stuff soon.

2) Out for a warm fall ride

After getting the Karoo 2 unboxed, photographed, and the Netherlands maps downloaded, I headed out for a bit of riding. Nothing long, just enough to fit into my late afternoon plans. And no better place is the Sloten cycling track, which has a 2.5km/1.5m loop that’s car-free and fully bike-only. And as is usually the case, mid-day, it’s desolate. I was the only cyclist on the track, with two more on the new cyclocross/MTB track:

2020-11-06 15.07.58

This was one of those rides where frankly I was pretty tired and almost didn’t go out the door. But ultimately decided to just head out and keep it to an hour with whatever intensity I felt like riding. I used the Karoo 2 as the main GPS bike computer, with a few watches along for the ride.

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From a camera standpoint, I connected the GoPro Hero 9 to both a chest mount for some loops, and then a longer gooseneck mount atop a clamp for a few more. Both are sorta my staples for riding.

2020-11-06 15.05.37

While I do use a combo GoPro/bike computer out-front mount on my bike often, the simple reality is that those shots aren’t usually super immersive in the pancake flat terrain of the Netherlands, since you lack sweeping turns or descents – or a rider in the frame (since I rarely ride in groups, especially this year).

In any case, as for the Karoo 2 – expect a full in-depth review on it once I get some riding time on it. Ultimately though, if you’ve got a Karoo 1 right now, you’ve basically got all the same software except for the smartphone notifications piece and beeper (which now makes a proper beep). I only received one very non-exciting text message during my ride, but it did work just fine.

3) Filming Quarantine Corner

After I got back from my ride, The Girl and I filmed our weekly Quarantine Corner episode for DCR Supporters. We started this back in the spring during the first lockdown, and then tapered out our filming of it, mostly because we had been filming it at our kitchen table at home after the kids had gone to bed, and frankly, by the time all that happened we were usually exhausted.

However, back three weeks ago we relocated it to the DCR Studio Gondola instead, where we’ve been shooting it on Fridays. Each episode lasts about 15-20 minutes, and usually details behind the scenes tidbits of what happened that week in both the DCR Cave/Tech world, as well as life at large. Think of it as an extended version of the Newsletter, except often with beer or wine. And yes, in an episode three weeks ago we explain in detail the story behind the gondola.

DCR-Quarantine-Corner

And for fun, here’s a snippet from our Halloween episode a bit over a week ago:

In fact, it wasn’t until this weekend that I realized I don’t think we ever even mentioned we were doing this here in a post. Mostly because it’s for DCR Supporters. In addition to the hopefully-weeklyish-episodes, they also get an ad-free experience here, as well as a nifty bit of comment recognition with a comment badge. And we’ve got more things in the works as well.

DCR Supporters can view all the past DCR Exclusives videos here, and if you’re not a DCR Supporter, you can sign up here!

4) Running with Nurvv

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Sunday evening with a short window of time available before getting dinner started, I zipped out for a quick run. I mainly wanted a short run to test/validate the Nurvv running insoles. Not so much validate them from a review standpoint, but just validate I knew how to properly operate them. After all, I wouldn’t want to go out for a 15KM/10mi run and then find out I didn’t start them correctly. So a 5-8KM run seemed perfect to test out the basics. The insoles actually slide in below your regular insoles, and then have these pod connector straps that come out the outside edge:

2020-11-08 16.30.06

You’ll attach a pod to each side, which get about 5 hours of battery life in total (so…not a ton of battery). You can run either phone-free (as I did), or with a phone for live guidance. They can also transmit footpod data to a watch via standard profiles.

When using them in standalone mode you’ll use a small button on each unit to power them on, and then another unit to start the workout. It was that secondary button I wanted to make sure I understood the status lights on.

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Once I started, I realized about 3 minutes down the road it was still in paused mode, so then I tapped again to get the correct light pattern and I was good to go. Which was fine, that’s exactly why I did a test run before doing my normal test runs.

Afterwards I got a pile of data to look at. Most of it is pretty much standard running data (pace/cadence/heart rate via your HR strap), but then there’s some running form focused data as seen below:

2020-11-09 00.01.38 2020-11-09 00.02.11 2020-11-09 00.01.26

The app notes though that it needs more data though before it can give me additional thoughts/guidance/etc. As such, I’ll do that for a while and then report back probably in December or so, to see how things go.

5) Editing more videos

Few videos require as much editing as action cam reviews or drone review videos. And few videos do as well on YouTube for me as action cam or drone videos. So while I dropped two videos last week for the DJI Mini 2, I have one more I’m trying to wrap up editing on – one focused on sports usage with it. And one that took some 65 or so takes. For realz. An explainer in the video itself.

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I brought the laptop home and let it churn out rendering footage here. But, I also took home for the last week the external GPU (graphics processing unit) I picked up a few months ago. I got this as a bit of a flexible GPU to bridge the gap on buying a new Mac (or PC laptop) by speeding up rendering times. But to that end, I picked up a GPU to put in it that was compatible with both Mac and PC, and a case that was equally as compatible. Thus, I dragged that home too. But I don’t have a picture of it at home, here it is back at the office today:

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For the case I used a Razer Core X, and then for the GPU I went with an XFX AMD Radeon 5700 XT. Obviously, if I was doing PC only, I’d use the newer Nvidia gear. But I needed something cross-compatible. And this was before the latest announced AMD gear, plus, there’s no Mac compatibility for that at this point anyway. Anyway, it gives my older MacBook Pro laptop more power to rip through editing and rendering faster when I’m doing multi-cam with 2-3 4K streams.

Hopefully that video will be out later today. Just have a few talking bits left to shoot here in the studio.

Update: Here’s the final video – as usual, it took me way longer to get it out than I expected. Like I said, drone/action cam videos take forever.

With that – thanks for reading, and have a good week ahead! Next post up should be the Trainer Recommendations guide. Stay tuned!

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40 Comments

  1. Chris

    Ray, I’ve always enjoyed the “5 random things,” so I’m glad to see it back! Thank you!

  2. roody102

    Please, write about new Karoo and Bryton before Black Friday! 🙂

  3. Dave Lusty

    Vector box? Did Ray say Vector box? Oh PLEASE let there be some new toys from Garmin on the way. Dear SantaRainmaker what I want this xmas is Fenix 7 and Vector 4. I don’t even care if they add features, I just need an excuse for new toys 😉

    • Luke

      On man, now that the Descent MK2 is out I’m waiting for DCSantaMaker to give us two reviews: the Descent MK2 and a Varia/Fly6 love child. We all need a back light, I’d like the radar for safety (a lot of my rides are on busy roads) and why not throw in a camera for good measure.
      No idea if this second thing actually exists, but wouldn’t that be great?

    • Fenix 7? I’m already on Fenix 8. That’s where it’s at.

    • Woah, a Shimano SPD-compatible Vector 4… instant buy from me.

    • David Flynn

      Luke, I second that Varia/Fly6 love child 🙂 I’m considering a cheapo rear light / camera combo for now, as too many bad statements on the FLY6 and v3 is perhaps a tad pricey if the quality isn’t right.

  4. Edwin

    If you are ever into building a new PC server and might use it to run MacOS software: link to youtu.be

    • I’ve always wondered if someone could get away with it for video editing though. I’ve seen a few so-so videos on Hacintosh with FCPX, but nothing that was super ‘bam, nailed it’.

      Of course, gotta see what comes out of tomorrow’s event. My MacBook could use a refresh so I didn’t have to depend on the external GPU so much. Really curious to see how real-world numbers for Apple Silicone match up.

  5. Alex

    I wonder how you will be able to extract Nurvv data to compare it through the DC Analyzer…
    In any case, I am waiting for your full review on it.

    My concerns :
    1. there isn’t exact size, only range.
    2. this gadget has an expiry date, in miles/km of use (all other gadgets don’t)
    3. no IQ date field yet released

  6. Geoff

    Hi Ray,

    I’m the Product Manager at NURVV, excited to see that you’re testing it!
    Just to say, if you prefer to run without your phone and you don’t want to have to pause/resume on the button, there is an Auto Pause feature you can enable in Settings -> Manage trackers. Cheers!

    • Duncan Tindall

      Geoff – can the NURVV work with custom orthotics? Ie the moulded carbon fibre type? I’m assuming not but there’s nothing on the website about that. Thanks

    • Ahh, good to know on the auto-pause feature!

      So does that also work as soon as I turn on the power do I still need to tap the big button too, or once I’ve got GPS lock it’ll go?

    • Duncan Tindall

      Sorry, follow-up question. Your website says you ship to UK and US, but then you talk about deliveries to the EU. You don’t talk about Rest of World (specifically NZ for me, but Aus, etc too). Noting my other question, I’m interested in them, and the 30day trial to see how useful the information is with a custom orthotic is appealing. But unclear if it’s even an option for me?

      Thanks in advance.

    • Geoff

      You need to tap the big button to start runs, and push and hold the big button to stop runs.

      Auto pause will pause/resume the run if you stop/resume movement during the run.
      All pause/resume events are reported on the LEDs and via app audio, if you choose to use it.

      Hope that helps!

      If you’re running phone free

    • Geoff

      Hi Duncan, thanks for the questions.

      Yes, NURVV Run can work with custom orthotics. Installation is the same as with regular insoles – place the NURVV insole directly on the footbed of the shoe, then re-mount the orthotics on top.

      Regarding shipment to NZ, unfortunately it’s not possible for now – there are different regulatory requirements that apply to your region and we don’t have a firm schedule yet for certifying the product against these.

  7. José

    How do you transport all your equipment, like the SanDisk Extreme Pro (do you even bother with a case)? I’m curious about your data storage and work flow in general, given how much space video footage takes up. I tried going through your Buyer’s Guide, but they seem dated and lacking on the storage side. I can barely handle a few GoPros, so your life must be far more interesting.

    • Hahaha…

      If people only knew how I transported my cards/etc. Right now they’re in a random plastic baggie. It’s not even a ziplock baggie, it’s literally packaging from some tiny part or something that came in the mail. A pile of cards are in it now, tossed into the front of my backpack.

      Generally speaking a typical pile of video footage for a normal video is about 80-120GB for the base footage, and then once I add in Final Cut libraries and such, it’s usually another 200GB or so.

      For reference, all my DJI Mini 2 stuff in total sits at 903GB right now. And that doesn’t include photos, though that’s only maybe 5-10GB. I’ll offload it to my server tomorrow. I usually whack the Final Cut Libraries though after a week or two, since I don’t need all the extra proxies/etc…

      But yeah, I keep hoping each week to do a revamp of that photography/workflow post. Hopefully before Black Friday!

  8. giorgitd

    The type of data from the NUURV seems really interesting and I’m looking forward to reading more results and experiences with it. I had been using the Milestone Pod (bought by Zwift and rebranded as the Zwift Pod). I don’t have any experience with use of it on Zwift (I’m on ANT+ for everything, so I use a Garmin footpod for Zwift running), but when it was Milestone with a dedicated app – it was dang useful, especially for the price ($30 USD? I can’t recall, exactly, but inexpensive). That pod+app provided ‘standard’ metrics (pace, distance, duration, cadence) but also foot strike (heel/mid/toe), ground contact time, rate of impact, stride length, leg swing…. It help me move from a heel striking, often injured runner to a more mid-toe striker. That change reduced my injury rate a bit, but also moved it to a different location. Getting old…

  9. Ray, intrigued by the external GPU as I’m looking at something similar to support my 5 year old Dell laptop. Is it just as simple as installing the card in enclosure and connecting it to the laptop? I’m a real neophyte when it comes to this stuff. Thanks.

    • It really is as simple as that. There are a few notables though:

      A) Your laptop has to support that connectivity. In my case over ThunderBolt 3, which your laptop might not. It might not even have USB-C for something 5 years old.

      B) You’d want to ensure that paying all that actually nets you an advantage. Meaning, some workloads are more CPU taxing, and a GPU won’t really do anything for that.

      Hard to say without knowing all the nuanced specifics.

    • OK thanks Ray, more research to do!

  10. acousticbiker

    Nurvv looks cool but if I’m putting something in my shoe, I would think the killer feature would be true running power. I’m not a technical person but I would think the actual force generated by each footstrike could be used to calculate true running power (akin to cycling) vs the calculated estimates of current methods that lack any industry-wide standards.

  11. Eric

    Hi! Ray,
    How NURVV is different from Arion? thank you!

    • David Flynn

      I’ll also second Eric’s question on a comparison with Arion. You had a pair of Arions many years back, but no review ever surfaced. I have a pair myself now anyway, and while they are useful for some things, there are oddities with them. Maybe NURVV are overcoming some of those (I hope so).

  12. Daniel Fleischer

    Cool! ‘5 Random Things’ is back. One of my favourites here! Thx for sharing!

  13. gingerneil

    It would be interesting to compare the insoles to runscribe. Any plans to do that ?

  14. Bouke

    Hi Ray, any chance you’ll be doing a review on the insta360 one x2? Curious what you think of it.

    • I’ve been playing with it a bit the last few weeks. Contemplating some sort of One X2 vs GoPro Max type comparison.

      In general though, I just find most of the 360 cameras a bit finicky for either day to day workflow, or even for action sports (specifically, properly mounting something to get a good angle that works well for either 360* or reframing later is always challenging, even moreso for units that use a tripod style mount).

  15. I think Fall is my favorite season, there’s something so refreshing about getting out in the fresh air before the madness of the Holiday season looms! I love cycling and hope to get to Amsterdam at some point to experience all it has to offer.

  16. David O'Halloran

    Hi ray. Are there any more fit files podcasts on the horizon. It seems you and gplama are overdue.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

  17. David Flynn

    Luke, I second that Varia/Fly6 love child 🙂 I’m considering a cheapo rear light / camera combo for now, as too many bad statements on the FLY6 and v3 is perhaps a tad pricey if the quality isn’t right.

    • David Flynn

      How long do you have the NURRV’s – as in, would it be 2021 before we can expect any sort of review?

    • I honestly don’t have a specific timeframe, likely in December though. Mostly as I don’t have a specific run schedule right now, it’s mostly product to product, though I expect runs to ramp up slightly as I try and knock out some of these leftover watch reviews.

  18. Piotr

    Can’t wait for in-depth review of karoo 2!