This was probably about as close to a semi-normal weekend as we’ve had in a few years now. Plus, it was actually sunny – a change from a week of rain, snow, wind, and all of those somehow mixed together angrily.
1) Cargo Bike Ambulance:
One of our cargo bikes (yes, we have two – but no car), was due for some spring maintenance this week, including truing the rear wheel and tightening the belt. Probably a new set of brake pads too. That was set for Saturday morning, when on Thursday morning said same bike decided to have its rear tire pop at 5:30:21AM. I know the exact time because I could actually see it happen on one of our Nest Cams. It silently popped, and the rear tire squished down.
Anyways, with that appointment already set, there was no reason for me to deal with changing the tire myself. It’s not super hard, but it’s also not as easy as a road bike. Atop that, bike mechanic labor fees are silly cheap in Amsterdam – and I’d have to go to the bike shop to get a new tube for it anyways. So, I figured I’d do it all at once, and just get the flat-tire bike to the bike shop (about 2KM away) either by slow-riding it, or slow-rolling it.
That plan failed miserably.
About 200m down the street, the tube decided to depart the bike and end up wrapped around the hub. After which, the bike became incredibly hard to push on just the tire alone (plus, trying to keep the rim on rubber only). So, I gave up on that. Carrying the bike wasn’t an option. But, suckering my Dad (who was in town) into helping me lift one Urban Arrow onto another, and then walk it the 2KM to the bike shop at 10PM? Definitely an option.
This worked surprisingly well. Once we got it up there, it managed to stay put and very solid atop the other one (the crank arm sorta nestled into one corner). And there was no meaningful resistance in terms of pushing it, it just rolled along happily. And we only ran into one signpost.
Here’s my dad at our destination.
I’d also point out that even having a car or SUV in this scenario wouldn’t have worked. The bike is simply too big for those. Some larger American truck beds might have had room in the back for it, hanging out the back. Getting the bike up solo would have been tricky. Not impossible, but very tricky. So having a helper made things easier for the mount/dismount.
They fixed it the next morning and we were good to go.
2) Running Buddies:
Saturday, just before dinner, I decided it was time to squeeze in a 10KM-ish run. With the three Peanuts starting to lose the plot in the early evening witching hour, I figured taking one of them with me would be the prudent thing to do. Initially I was going to take the littlest one in the running stroller (The BOB), but a split/last-second decision was offered to the middle one (4 years old) to see if she wanted to bike instead with me.
Sure enough, she was thrilled. Also, yes her face is painted. No, she is not normally a bear.
I wanted to do about 10KM, and wasn’t super sure how well she’d handle the speed aspect. She’s usually pretty good in the ~10KM range just poking around, but I haven’t taken her out on any solo runs yet. So this would be a first.
Turns out, she did great, and we had a blast.
The way back on the lollipop-designed farmland loop had some pretty stiff headwinds, so that slowed things down slightly. Both in terms of speed but also motivation. But we just ended up playing a game where every 5th giant tree on the tree-lined path, she’d get a couple second ‘boost’ to speed ahead. That kept her entertained.
All in a bit more than 9KM, at roughly my long-running pace. Not too shabby for a 4-year old.
3) Drone Testing Fun:
I spent a bit of time getting a new aircraft all set-up for some stuff later this week. This is a bit different than most of the drone stuff I review, in that it’s so-called FPV flying (First Person View). Generally speaking, this aspect isn’t used in follow-me sports, but the thing I’m reviewing crosses over to more of the realm of stuff I review on the YouTube side. Whereas, you do actually see FPV drones used more and more in live sporting events – such as GoPro using one in live freestyle skiing competition a few months back, and DJI doing similar with this ski film, including tons of FPV work, (and we’ve seen countless piles of FPV work in cycling films, both at the general YouTube level but also with the UCI even recently at an event).
Anyways, I made mention on Instagram, but if anyone in the Amsterdam area is an experienced FPV pilot and wants to help me out on Tuesday morning (somewhere just outside the allowable flying area), I’m happy to have a flying helper. Shouldn’t take long, just drop a note below or using the ‘Contact’ option above.
4) Sunday Intervals
Sunday midday I went out for some intervals in the sun. I wanted to run through a structured workout (one where I downloaded what I was doing to the watch to have me iterate through it), so I set up a pile of 800s, along with a warm-up and cool-down. First up was passing by the rowing basin, where a competition was underway. Plenty of large semi-trucks full of boats off in the distance.
After that, it was free sailing with very few people. It’s always nice and quiet once you get away from the basin.
I ended up doing a couple rounds of the hill. This hill is only 15m high, but it’s the only hill I’ve got. And it technically trips the threshold for what I need most of the time.
Once done, the Garmin Descent G1 (which is basically a diving version of the Instinct 2 series) was upset as always with my lack of productivity. Generally speaking, the underlying reason why it gives ‘Unproductive’ is usually right. Though, this one was somewhat questionable to be honest. It said I needed rest a bit more. But I managed a 74 sleep score with an ‘Excellent’ sleep duration, though Body Battery didn’t quite nail as high as I wanted, at 68 for the night. Still seems a bit aggressive for ‘Unproductive’. Though, as I said before, in general – most of the time I find that objectively it’s right, even when we don’t like the answer (the exception is mostly high load weeks like training camps and such – where it easily fumbles).
Either way, my intervals were largely good – so, that’s what matters. Well, actually, I got the test data I needed – so that’s really what matters.
5) Food Festival Fun
After the run on Sunday, we brought the kids to Amstel Park, which is a giant park along the Amstel river. They’ve got everything from gardens there to cafes, even a petting farm. But for kids, the main attraction is the massive playground area.
However, this weekend the Pure market was up and running again. It was its second weekend of the year, and rotates between three different venues around Amsterdam each weekend. Normally, we visit it in the Amsterdam Bos, which is very close to the DCR Cave (and where I did my intervals above). So it was a nice surprise to see it here.
The food is always good, and there’s tons of variety for the kids to pick which foods they want. One had fresh dumplings, another rotisserie chicken, and the last one chose Thai-chicken pot pies. The adults (including the grandparents) sampled from that set of stands, as well as others.
Plus, a train ride around the park with the grandparents topped it off before they flew back across the pond this morning.
After which, it was a ride home as the sun set, obligatory windmill included.
With that – thanks for reading, and have a great week ahead!