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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Why yes, it’s that time of year again – ‘5 Random Things’ time! While we had a few random things posts this past summer, I think the weekend slate is now diversified enough to get back to semi-regular ‘5 Random Things’ status. Thus, let’s dive right into it with the usual blend of tech and non-tech.

1) Final Samsung Watch4 Shooting

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There’s almost nothing I hate more in video production than shooting b-roll. Except perhaps integrating said b-roll. But mostly just shooting it. Whereas inversely, I actually enjoy the ‘A-Roll’ (talking) portion. Mainly because it feels like I’m accomplishing something. Whereas the b-roll portion is just basically trying to go through a long list of shots I need to accompany the talking portion, wherein I invariably still need a few more later.

In any case, that was my Friday evening, and then a bit more later after the kids went to bed. And still a bit more later on Saturday and on Sunday. Because one never has enough apparently.

In actuality, I shot the main portion of this Samsung Watch4 and Watch4 Classic video more than two weeks ago – but have procrastinated since. On the bright side, I have two more weeks of data from wearing it daily, and the data (inclusive of most recent updates) continues to mirror that of my first week of data: Mostly good, except when it isn’t. And when it isn’t, it’s solidly bad – mainly HR giving up, but some GPS wobbles too.

I’ll have my video out this afternoon (for realz, I’ve just gotta do one final voiceover section). And hopefully my written review shortly (inclusive of both Watch4 and Watch4 Classic).

Update – it’s out! Watch it here:

2) Peloton Ride

For the most part, on the weekends during P3’s nap time, I ride the Peloton Bike (original, non-Plus). Namely because it’s entirely silent, but also because it’s right on the same level as her. And most importantly, as always: It just works every time. So this time I did a random 45-minute workout and called it done:

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I normally/often do power zone workouts on the weekend, but I needed some screenshots of a workout that wasn’t power zone for something, so, non-PZ workout it was.

Meanwhile, if I’m doing an evening weekend trainer workout, it’ll likely be Zwift or TrainerRoad. If I’m at the DCR Cave it’s also mostly Zwift or TrainerRoad, except some days when I’m just feeling mindless, in which case it’ll be on the Peloton Bike+, since I don’t have to think about it.

In general, while I do weekend outdoor rides occasionally, I don’t tend to as much. Given I have the flexibility of this being my job, I do longer outdoor rides on weekdays, so that I can save that time for being with the kids on the weekend. Plus, the bike paths/routes are basically desolate mid-day on a weekday – so that’s kinda nice. 🙂

3) Bike Shopping

Saturday afternoon we wandered down to Utrecht to a large bike store to shop for kids’ bikes. While our two favorite local bikes shops are great for all my performance bike needs (hardware and service), neither has kids’ bikes. And shopping for kids’ bikes is mostly a game of having lots of size and color selection. So we went to Mantel, which is a huge bike shop that has a few different locations. In theory they’d have a large selection of kids bikes, but in practice, that was a bit more limited in the much smaller sizes we needed.

However, what they lacked in kids’ bikes they made up for in store awesomeness – complete with a test track inside:

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All three kids had lots of fun on this loop, while older kids (and kids at heart) dodged and weaved their way around too. Certainly the loop isn’t really designed for doing a full-send on an adult bike, but for kids it works out. Albeit, P2 took one corner a wee bit hot and relocated a portion of a display rack. The bike she was testing for size had training wheels on it, and she’s never ridden a bike with those before.

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The store also has a very large selection of mainstream bike computers:

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After an initial look at Mantel, we wandered over to Decathalon, and didn’t find much in the way of bikes. But I did find severed wrists with no-name watches. This is the only pic I took inside the store. I love Decathalon for lots of things, but like most places, their selection of bikes these days was sparse.

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So back to Mantel we went!

They had all three major indoor smart bikes: Wahoo KICKR Bike, Tacx NEO Bike, and Stages SB20 Bike. Though, lacked a Wattbike ATOM (likely because Wattbike is mostly self-distribution). Also, you could ride an Elite Suito-T box (the Suito-T is simply a Suito without the cassette pre-installed).

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I was surprised to see the Saris H3 on the test station too (far left). Mostly because I can’t remember the last time I saw a Saris trainer on-display in a bike shop around here. For whatever reason, Wahoo & Tacx marketing seem to do a much better job at getting bike shops to create Zwift stations in their stores.

In any case, P2 picked up her new bike.

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And P1 has to wait for it to come in stock in a few weeks (hopefully). P3 tried many bikes herself:

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But she has an entire fleet of bikes she can utilize for now at home.

4) Pizza Oven By Bike

For those that have been following along on Instagram the last few weeks, you’ll know that a pizza oven acquisition has occurred. Granted, there may be some (additional) strings attached to it from The Boss, but hey, it’s here! DesFit and I even brought it on our Eurobike RV trip two weeks ago – and made roadside rest stop pizza too!

After unloading it from the RV rental, it had been at the DCR Cave. So P3 and I made a quick trip down Sunday afternoon to relocate it back home for dinner. She was pretty excited about it, and alternated between petting it and doing a dance the whole way home.

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I’ll have a proper review on it later, but, I specifically bought the Ooni Fyra 12, which uses little wood pellets. While there were gas ones (with an extra accessory), that started increasing the price pretty quickly. Plus, I’ve already got a gas grill + pizza stone, thus going gas would somewhat duplicate there. Here’s a photo from a different evening, since I took no wide-shot pictures of it last night:

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I just took fire pictures last night, cause obviously, fire pictures are the best kind of pictures.

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So far, it’s silly easy. I’ve both made dough as well as bought dough. For this weekend it was a last-minute decision, so I went with store-bought dough, versus previous pizza evenings have been with homemade dough. Sorta like making fresh pasta at home, making the pasta/dough from scratch is a great weekend activity. But for a weeknight dinner with kids, having a reliable pizza dough from a store saves a bunch of hours – as getting the oven up to temp only takes about 15 or so minutes. Plus, it gave me an excuse to buy another infrared thermometer – like socks, one can never have too many of those around.

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Also, I entirely forgot to take pictures of any of the pizzas coming out this time. Though, I can say there were zero accidental calzones – so that’s a solid improvement!

5) Late Night Unboxing

After pizza time, it was back down to The Cave for some quick late night unboxing. As is often the case, September is busy around these parts, and the timing of product reviews and wrist real-estate is carefully choreographed. One device gets the boot, another goes on. More on that specific later.

Sept12thUnboxingShot

I find shooting dual-cameras is the easiest here, as I just go back and forth as I work my way through the box. I use a Panasonic GH5 for the video side, and my trusty but well aged Nikon D500 for the photo side. Sooner or later the D500 will die, and then I’ll have to decide which camp I want to move towards going forward. Until then, I’ll just keep on clickin’.

With that – thanks for reading, and stay tuned for what’s looking like a very busy remainder of the month, inclusive of this week.

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42 Comments

  1. Andrew M

    Test track in the bike store? That’s next level awesomeness!!

  2. charlie

    ‘decapitated wrists’ – ??? armless 😉

  3. Dave Lusty

    Can’t believe you finally got the pizza oven! It’s been so long coming that they were called Uuni when I first suggested one on your comments 🙂

    Hope you have some Caputo Blue flour ready and some NDuja for topping…

    • Jeff K

      I would like to see that pizza oven to-do list again and see what’s been crossed off (or added). Did The Girl stick to her guns on this one?

    • Technically everything was crossed off some time ago. There was some debate in the household as to whether or not tasks had:

      A) Time-limitations associated with them
      B) If tasks were completed by others out of pure happenstance, if they had to be replaced

      A new task was added to the list though as a pre-condition. That task must be completed by the end of the month.

  4. Rui Pereira

    You’ll probably have to wait a long time for the D500 shutter to die. Do you know how many shots you have so far?

    • According to a shutter check site, it’s at 99101. But I’m pretty sure that number got reset when it went in for servicing twice – so I’m not sure when exactly that was, but a number of years ago (and maybe, in that case, the reset wouldn’t have mattered).

    • Karl

      Nikon rates the D500 shutter for 200k actuations. Like all MTBF numbers, take it with a grain of salt.
      Generally that counter is only reset when the shutter is replaced.

    • Yep. I’ve passed my D200 and D300 on to nieces who are still shooting them. They’d been around the world w/ me a few times and the D200 has hit 5 continents w/ my niece. My D500, D850 and D5 are still going strong. The D850 is my primary and I’m pretty sure is well past the actuations target.

      I get tempted to go elsewhere for features but leaving Nikon reliability gives me anxiety 🙂

  5. Ron Gurney

    Related subject. What will make the D500 eventually die? The one you show online has been refurbished and is sold as working like new. Thanks for your comments.

    • It’s hard to say. I had an incident this past June where it stopped shuttering and just made weird noises, but after switching batteries it got happy again. My guess is that was more of a battery-dying thing that I haven’t seen before.

      Historically speaking, I would have said the most likely thing to kill off a DSLR would have been dropping it at high speed while taking photos of bike computers riding (which, has never happened). But given that’s not permitted here anymore, that’s removed from the likely causes of death. The other cause of death would have been a tripod getting tripped/tipped over. But these days it’s never on a tripod because I only use tripods for video, and I don’t use it for video anymore (the GH5’s instead).

      Fwiw – I bought it in early spring 2016 – so it’s going on 5.5 years old now.

  6. Volker

    Im my home town area, non of the bike shops I have been or contacted (> 10!) have had a bike for my 6 year old daughter in stock. I can preorder it now and they perhaps can deliver it in 02/2022 or later (if the manufactor can deliver due to Corona). Luckily I found a shop in the www, who had a bike in stock and I have to pay, after I got it. Bike is on the way (shipping message received). 🙂

  7. André berger

    Fwiw (if the D500 dies) I’m using the Nikon D800 and D850 at work with product photography at a museum, and they are both serious workhorses that takes good photos (but expensive, I’m happy I didn’t pay for them!). My coworker uses the D780 and tells good thing about that camera.
    In my personal opinion most newer “pro” cameras should be able to take good photos, I use the Panasonic LX15 as my private camera as I wanted a lightweight camera to bring on trips.

  8. John H

    Per the Ooni – can relate to the accidental burrito/calzone. Still happens occasionally when I get too distracted and don’t get the pizza off the peel in short order.

    A tip is to dust a fine layer of course grain corn meal on the pizza peel to act as ball bearings for the pizza to slide easily into the oven.

  9. gingerneil

    Love our ooni! We went with the Koda 16 – so a good size, but all gas. Caputo Blue is great – but benefits from a long cold prove – 48 hours in the fridge works well. Nuvelo is great for a shorter prove if you’re tight on time (still.. 24 hours!).
    Assume you have the Pizza App for dough – if not, take a look.

    • Indeed, a few folks have mentioned the Pizza App. I’ve been using the ‘default’ Ooni recipe for dough, purely to have a ‘known good’ starting pointand then expanding from there. The whole in-oven turning/etc process is actually pretty easy for me, it’s more nailing the timing of say 6-8 pizzas such that they can quickly get prepped and into the oven without any of them sticking onto the peel.

    • gingerneil

      Now that’s a tough one… It takes time for the stone to get back to temp, and leaving a stretched base too long with sauce makes it absorb moisture. I cook max 3 – from ball to cooked individually and kept warm. We eat what we want of those, then repeat. The whole thing is then a more social and relaxed meal, although strung out a little. I find that works better than cooking all and then sitting down to a single meal…..
      Maybe not so easy with younger kids tho!
      Grab a turning peel from ali express too – cheap, but excellent.

  10. BA

    I have found that kid bike shopping is better at link to dekleinespaak.nl. It’s less of an experience, but bike wise it’s much better. My mini 1 is upgrading a frog bike 43 to a 52, for longer distances (around 10k) it’s awesome!

  11. Sam

    Our kids, who are 3 and 5, now have Woom bikes. They cost a little more but as the saying goes you do get what you pay for and we have been very happy with them. I particularly like how the balance bike has brakes, so that when you give them a bike with pedals and they can go fast they already know how to stop. We’ve tried some other bikes but we will just say they didn’t work out and leave it at that. Dont forget a helmet with a unicorn on it, or maybe a mohawk!

    • I think we’ve lucked out in that some of the kids bikes at daycare/school have brakes, and they seem to grasp that concept (mostly). Phew!

      However, a unicorn helmet is most certainly still required!

  12. Matt LeGrand

    I vote you move to the Sony camp. Oh wait, I don’t get a vote?

  13. Wannes

    Hooray for learning to ride a bike without training weeks!!
    My kids got a balance bike at 2, and where riding a pedal bike at 2.5 !

    • Milessio

      I think a unicorn cries every time ‘training wheels’ are used 🙁

      A mini bike with porteur rack; top choice 🙂

    • We specifically requested the training wheels be taken off before the bike left the shop. She was kinda having a blast with them on in the store (just how the display bike was), which probably led to her slight overconfidence in not understanding how to corner with them…

  14. Robin White

    That bike shop is just amazing

  15. andre

    Lovely picture of your daughter with her new bike. Cool bike, complete with a front rack like so many bigger bikes in your hometown. Color coordination of the bike with the rest of her outfit couldn’t be better.

  16. Alan C

    I suspect you have a pretty serious data management system for all the photos, video, and scripts!

  17. Fleauris

    The severed wrists you couldn’t have seen at Mantel, the surroundings look like the other ‘blue store’ in The Wall 😉

  18. A bit further from Amsterdam, but in Ede there is ‘De Fietser’ which also has a testtrack:
    link to defietser.nl

    They’re advertising themselves as a test/experience centre, I don’t think you can actually buy anythere there.

    • That’s awesome. I think there’s huge value in the test track, for adults and kids. Namely around basic size/fit, as well as things like stability of a bike. Sure, it’s not outside, but being able to pedal in a clean (non-rainy) environment is a huge thing to quickly test/iterate through a handful of bikes.

    • Sam J

      12GObiking in Moordrecht (near Gouda) have a huge indoor test track, which even includes different types of road / bike path surfaces. Claims to be the largest store in NL.

      link to testbaan.12gobiking.nl

  19. Travis

    We make our pizzas on parchment paper once they are in the oven and dough has started to cook we pull the parchment paper out. I got so tired of making accidental calzones.

  20. Max

    Mantel is a very nice shop. I choose my ebike (Cortina e mozzo pro 8) there to do commuting to and from work (27km). Of course a sportbike would have been better but then I arrive tired at work. The sales persons and the service mechanics are all very helpfull and are qualified more than enough for their job. The first service after 500 km they gave (no charge) me another ebike. So i could still travel to work. Very nice. Thanks for your posting and in depth review. I have a Suunto 3 fitness with a HR-strap. It has some quirckes but works correct once you get the details.

  21. I think you’ll appreciate pellets instead of gas. Just make sure to stick w/ pure pellets without any binders or other stuff.

    The best tasting and most enjoyable dough we’ve found is the one in Modernist Bread (fascinating books). It can be kind of tough to work with though so we’ve been playing w/ mods to try to make it more workable. We’ve not yet succeeded and keep going back to the original in the book. HOWEVER, Modernist Pizza comes out in a couple of weeks and has some great stuff in it.

  22. Matthew

    Wait, does P2’s bike come standard with a pizza porteur rack?! 🍕

  23. SwimNbike Ken

    I was in Mantel back in April. I was stunned how big it was..

    but covid messing up the supply chain …..

    but the P’s look great with their bikes