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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Despite being a busy holiday weekend around these parts, we packed in quite a bit of sports tech and sportiness, with thankfully sunny weather to help keep sanity in check. Plus, tons of products in the hopper for upcoming releases or announcements to get through, so the backlog is starting to grow a wee bit.

1) On-site Cargo Bike Fixer

As you may remember from last week, we left off with me pushing a cargo bike a few kilometers with another cargo bike splayed atop it (in the middle of the night), to get some repairs. Unfortunately, when said bike shop was only able to make the most urgent of repairs the next day due to a large workload. Thus, the previously planned repairs we had got delayed.

Instead, a DCR Reader (thanks!) recommended a local dude who pedals his own cargo bike to come and fix your cargo bike. All for very reasonable prices (roughly the same as any bike shop here). So, I scheduled with him to come Friday to sort out all the outstanding general maintenance items that I’d been deferring for a few weeksmonths…long time.

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He’d come and tidy up both cargo bikes (again, we have no car, this is our minivan for a family of five + dog). While none of these tasks are tremendously difficult, they all fall in the ‘solid pain in the butt’ realm in that they’re very different than normal road-bike tasks I’d do myself. And the cost of bike mechanic labor is so inexpensive in the Netherlands, that it just makes sense for someone else to do it both more efficiently and more properly.

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Anyways, he did a slew of tasks on both bikes, getting them ready for the summer season. Which, frankly isn’t any different than the winter season in terms of day-to-day mileage– except sometimes we’ll do much longer day-trips on them (like 50-70km rides out to the beaches and back). Plus, he fixed a bunch of little things that we’ve gotten used to, but friends riding the cargo bikes might not appreciate.

2) A New Trainer?

Later that afternoon we met up just outside of town slightly with some DCR Readers coming from Germany, which had offered to bring us some American grocery goodies not available in the Netherlands (thank you!!!). After which we hit up the big restaurant supply store for a few oddities. We have access to that via our business license. It’s the same chain we used to shop at in Paris with our bakeries there (for Friday night date night), except this time we’re not buying 500 eggs at a time.

Oddly, this restaurant supply store also sells other office-supply-ish sort of stuff. Notably, exercise equipment, including this price winning pedaling thing:

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I gave it a few seconds of pedaling, along with toying with the resistance. To be fair, the ride feel was not as horrendous as I expected. It was actually moderately smooth. And the resistance was clean too. Everything else about it was mostly non-awesome, but hey – what’d you expect when buying an indoor bike at a restaurant supply store?

3) The Great Tulip Ride

It’s very much true that there are tulips everywhere in the Netherlands this time of year. However, when most people envision the giant tulip fields of the Netherlands, they’re heavily centered around a town about 20-30KM from Amsterdam. That’s where the massive Keukenhof gardens are that attract millions of people each year during their short 7-week window. But it’s also surrounded by many other tulips fields that have nothing to do with the gardens.

And as pretty as the gardens are, the characteristic tulip fields you’re thinking of are outside of the Keukenhof walls. So each year around now I try and make a ride down there. From Amsterdam that ends up being in the 75-100KM range, depending on my exact routing. This time I went a bit further south first, and then looped up through it.

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The surrounding fields were pretty much at peak tulip right now. There isn’t one specific variety planted, so both the gardens and fields are largely designed to have a constant flow of different varieties blooming from late March till early May.

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Still, this year this week seemed to be about the pinnacle of weeks I’ve seen in a while. Very little has died off yet, and most things are right at their fullest, with some still to come.

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My ride ended up about 90KM all-in. I did some pausing around the 70ish KM marker to grab some nutrition, since I didn’t bring anything except a bottle of water:

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(Sometimes I put extra watches on the frame when I need to collect power meter or other non-GPS data, as was the case here when I don’t want to have said watches in photos/videos of my handlebars.)

This M&M Ice Cream bar and the random bench were on-point, both food-wise and visually. Also, more on the bike and otherwise tech later in the week. Was out testing lots of things from different companies. I’d say I had about half of the unsaid things fail in some way. Some minor failures, some massive failures. Either way, a number of e-mails to companies going out this morning. Though, one new thing did succeed in a very solid way. So props to them.

4) The Easter Bunny & Dinner

Of course, being Easter, we had all the bunny things to do. The night before, The Girl made bunny footprints across the backyard:

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While I stuffed our reusable plastic easter eggs with raisins and small chocolates. I also worked on my first bread. I know, I’ve missed the entire bread-making craze that started two years ago when everyone was in their first lockdowns. But we had three little-littles then, and without daycare or school, ain’t nobody got time for that. This time I was following a recipe from one of the YouTuber channels I watch, and it largely turned out good:

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I should have stopped baking after I took the above photo, but went 10 minutes more (the recipe had recommended 15-20 mins), so it was a bit darker than I wanted. But inside wasn’t too bad for a first attempt.

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Meanwhile, Easter itself was a hit, with happy ducklings finding the eggs. This is their post-egg-finding negotiation session for splitting up the goods.

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And then later on we had another family over with kiddos, and the adults got to enjoy the outside table with all the good things that The Girl cooked:

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Having nice weather definitely made the weekend!

5) Peloton Bike + Guide

This section, not to be confused with Peloton Bike+, is the base Peloton Bike, plus the Peloton Guide. In any event, I got in a few rides this weekend on that bike as usual, but also a few more workouts with the new Peloton Guide. That’s the little webcam/Kinect-looking thing that sits atop your TV and monitors your progression through core/strength exercises.

First up though, was 45 minutes or so on the Bike, doing some structured intervals:

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Then it was short core workouts. While The Girl loves core workouts and strength training, it’s not really my cup of tea. I’ll begrudgingly do it. I’d basically rather do 90-minutes of intervals on a trainer than a 15-minute core workout.

So, I picked up the Peloton Guide a few weeks ago and have been giving it a poke. It’s actually better than I expected.

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There are features that it’s missing (such as monitoring your form), as well as a lack of rep counting. But once you use it, neither really mattered at this point. While it doesn’t explicitly count reps (e.g. do 10 reps and it’ll count 1, 2, 3, …), it counts movement. So it watches what you’re doing, and if you’re not doing something, you don’t get credit for that set.

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I have a full in-depth review coming soonish. Maybe this week, maybe next week. We’ll see.

With that, I’ve got lots of stuff in the hopper for this week to get cookin’ on, so best get movin’ on that!

Thanks for reading!

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19 Comments

  1. Mark

    RE: Guide. I’m pre-empting the full review, but can it hook up to BT and ANT+ HR straps?

    Wife almost picked one up this weekend, but couldn’t figure that part out online.

    • I don’t think so. I have it at home right now for the weekend (will head back to the office later on), and I don’t have any ANT+ only straps handy here at the moment.

      But looking at the enumeration of the sensors, I haven’t seen any ANT+ ID listed, nor duplicate ID’s like their other hardware, which always shows all of them (ANT & BLE).

      Thanks for being a supporter!

    • Chris

      I use the newest polar arm strap. The Polar Verity Sense with my bike and it came up automatically on the Guide. Will you also be reviewing the new strap that Peloton sells? I am wondering if there is any advantage to using the new peloton arm strap.

    • Yup, I’ve got that too, but haven’t quite gotten it fully into the queue. It’s on the unboxing table in position #1 (so, probably tonight).

    • Sarah

      I’ve connected my Polar H10, my Scosche 24, and it connected to the broadcast hr from my Fenix 6s. It didn’t look like it was connected to the Fenix, as in it didn’t say ‘connected’ like the other two, but it actually was and showed my hr when I did a workout.

      I’m finding the guide challenging. I want to love it because I need strength training motivation and gadgets+data are key to that for me. But there’s a timezone issue where it’s not converting from UTC so my workouts show up the day before (though a fix is supposed to be rolled out for that by the end of the week) (ahem, CS101, and hey, they could copy the TZ handling code they have for the bike, app, etc) and it is not good at recognising that I’m doing things like superhumans and a few other floor/core exercises. Yesterday it didn’t give me credit for the plank position rows that I did either – I guess because it couldn’t really see the arm on the side away from the tv. I turned around to face the tv for the subsequent sets but it wasn’t overly happy with that either.

      I’m trying very hard to let it go and accept that there are bugs that will theoretically be fixed at some point down the line, but my spectrum brain is not best pleased!

    • Sarah

      Though it looks like the Fenix actually broadcasts both bt and ant+ so I’m guessing that connection is actually bt (I’d assumed it could only broadcast ant+).

  2. Mike

    Did you get a new bike? Looks the Synapse with the battery pack, probably the perfect ride for you with all the device testing. Are you going to post a review?

  3. Mike Lacy

    If you’re ever in Southwest Michigan, here’s a route full of Tulip goodness for you to ride. In Holland, MI, we hold the Tulip Time Festival each year…strange, eh?

    This year’s group ride is scheduled for May14th or 15th – weather and participation dependent.

    You should come!!

    Ride with GPS Route can be found here: shorturl.at/firL1

    Or Here: link to ridewithgps.com

  4. gideon

    fedex a loaf asap

  5. Martin C

    As a long time DCR reader, I vaguely remember a post like this (tulip fields) years ago right before a big Forerunner launch 🙂 Maybe I’m just hoping for a big first week of May.

    • In general, I do tend to do my longest rides/runs leading up to big reviews. Though in this case, it was merely me making a Strava route with certain known tulip areas I wanted to hit. That ultimately came out to 90KM.

  6. Daniel Gassmann

    I strongly recommend a visit of Texel.

  7. Neil Jones

    Off topic, but your riding glasses – are they Oakley Prizm Road Jade lenses? I’m after some new lenses, but am torn between the normal Prizm Road (20% VLT) and the Prizm Road Jade (15% VLT). Most online reviewers say the (non-Jade) Road isn’t dark enough, but they all seem to be pedalling around California in the summer. How do you find yours for more normal overcast European days? As these are going to be expensive varifocals, I’m looking for one go-to lens that’s going to serve me for most of the cycling year in the UK.

    Thanks!

  8. Jackson Cheng

    How’s Lucy doing? Haven’t heard from her in a while

    • She’s Lucy as normal – friendly yet lazy, always looking like she’s upset about something. But, a happy clam. However yes, she does need to be featured more frequently. She sometimes makes it into Instagram stories.