DC Rainmaker

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Hey Folks!

Wow wow wow, finally the madness has taken a little break in the Maker household! Ray managed to drop seven big in-depth reviews in just as many days! Phew, glad that is behind him and he is banking a little bit of rest and down time… just a little bit.

Some of you might be wondering, why the end was so hectic to get these reviews out? If he has the products for several weeks before the release, shouldn’t it be a little bit more on the ball by the time all of the embargos lift?

Well, you have to remember Ray doesn’t just get a product media loaner from a company and then give said company radio silence for weeks. He is constantly using the product, sometimes breaking the product, and finding glitches in firmware. So, his goal in life isn’t to get a product and slam it in his review.

He wants to give continuous feedback to the company, suggest/request improvements in firmware, and often this leaves him getting new firmware updates days before the media release is set. So, the in-depth review can really be a work in progress for a long time leading up to pressing publish.

Then you put on top of that the pressure of creating YouTube content. Really you can’t record anything until you get the final final product, firmware, and have formed your opinion on what’s what. Otherwise he has to go record and rerecord and sometimes re-re-record, then the video is going to look awkward, lighting, angles, clothing, etc are going to be disjointed, and then in turn (do to the nature of YouTube culture) Ray will be the one getting slammed.

YouTube is funny that way. The information you are putting out there can be super solid, but sometimes with a given audience, if your video skillz lack… the trolls will crush you! Which might give you insight on why I haven’t graced the front of the lens in a while… I think I bowed out on a high!   

Anyways, lets move on to what you’re really here for. The tech goodness! First you had the Garmin Edge 530 and Edge 830 In-depth reviews. I won’t say much here as by the looks of all the comments on both posts and the amount of views on YouTube, most of the interested internet population has already read the posts! Personally, I think I’m going to be a 530 convert, I’d say the 830 is overkill for me since the biggest difference between the two is mapping and screen size. I never cycle alone and just prefer to ride behind Ray and enjoy the view of the derriere!

Next up was the Garmin Speed and Cadence Sensor V2 with ANT+/Bluetooth Smart- In Depth Review. Normally here you guys get the hint that I’m not exactly as fascinated by all the tech the same way Ray is. I really can’t think of a topic that might be more boring than a cadence sensor. However, this little nugget of technology did step up its game, and as Ray said, “Came with a little party trick”. It seems this new little sensor has a little brain in there and can record your trip! Annnnnd with that I’ll redirect you to the link to read for yourself! We do after all still have 4 more in-depth reviews to recap… snore.

To break up the monotony of the reviews, Ray did entertain us with a fun 5 Random Things Post. I do love these posts, because its fun for us as a couple to  have this makeshift diary of what we were up to over the years. As well, I think it helps readers remember that he is after all only human. Ray also snuck in a little bit of his secret humor in the final item of the post. His little smirk regarding his friend in the back of the frame. I’ll let you go find that one yourself if you missed it. As well, he left you with a photo of me pushing my bike through what was undoubtedly tick filled brush… I think I’ll hone in on that situation later in The Girl’s section.

Next up Ray dropped what could be described as a lot, a heap, a pile, a mountain, or, more news on Garmin Forerunners than one can shake a stick at! Seriously, we saw in depth reviews on the new Garmin Forerunner 45, Garmin Forerunner 245 Music, and the Garmin Forerunner 945 Multisport watches. It was crazy! Really I’m not sure how he kept all his mental notes straight (because you know the man doesn’t write things down). By the time I was done quick editing the posts my brain was spinning and couldn’t remember which watch did what. I was just glad to remember my own watch was called a Feeee-niiiix.

And now last, but not least… though maybe it is? (ouch, sorry) was the Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Cycling GPS In-Depth Review. Errrrr well...what happened was... the product just wasn’t up to snuff and especially for its price point. I imagine that the device isn’t terrible, buuuuut when competing in the colosseum these days with the gladiators, you can’t bring a functional spoon. When Ray initially told me there would be a new Wahoo cycling head unit, I kinda rubbed my hands together in anticipation of another Wahoo competition crushing product, and I think this time they fell a little short. It will be interesting to see them coming out swinging as the underdog the next time. Until then, back to the Hypogeum!

And that’s it for the tech talk in writing. Moving on, if you love fabulous world of Audio-Visual, this section is for you!

The FIT File Podcast with DC Rainmaker and GPLama:

Well the boys have not disappointed with the newly named “Fit File” podcast. Ray and Shane have knocked down two more podcasts since the last newsletter and I believe there is another recording happening now for episode 72. That or those two knuckle heads are just planning a summer cycling getaway. I guess we will Find out!

Remember you can listen and subscribe to the podcast on which ever platform you fancy! iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify


As I said earlier in the newsletter, Ray was also super busy not only writing the in-depth reviews, but recording for YouTube content. The videos take a substantial amount of time, planning, and editing. So if you’re checking out the videos, be sure to click the like button for him! It’s like a high five for getting his shit done!

              ·        Garmin Edge 530 Review: 15 New Things To Know!

·         Garmin Edge 830 Review: 18 New Things To Know!

·         Garmin Forerunner 945 Review: 13 Things To Know // Hands-on Details!

·         Garmin Forerunner 245 Music Review: 11 New Things To Know // Hands-on Details

·         Garmin Forerunner 45 Review: 9 New Things To Know // Hands-on walk-through

·         Garmin Forerunner 945: Complete Menu/UI Walk-Through

image Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Cycling GPS In-Depth Review
image Garmin Forerunner 945 Multisport Watch In-Depth Review
image Garmin Forerunner 45/45S GPS Watch In-Depth Review
image Garmin Forerunner 245 Music GPS Watch In-Depth Review
image 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

In-Depth Thoughts from The Girl

Well, I thought I would just start off with this picture right here…

Yeah. Well, see what happened was. Ray got cursed out on the side of the highway, by me. And to be fair I did apologize later for taking it out on him, as it seems Google maps had major fail, and Ray was just following the infamous blue dot!

But I’ll back it up a little bit first. We had left for what was planned for as a 90-ish minute ride (which I usually tack on an extra 30 for anything I do with Ray regarding “adventure”). It was supposed to be a simple route straight out passed several tulip fields and then to a train station to hitch a ride home. I packed a simple bottle of water.

You have to remember that my riding status at the moment is low. Very low. So, Ray was a good sport to go for a ride with me in the first place. But what was supposed to be a fairly easy spin turned into a galling headwind ride. I was trying to get the hang of drafting off of Ray, but we weren’t reading each others cycling language very well. So the draft would let me get going at a solid pace and then I’d get too close for (my) comfort to his back wheel and I would tell him to punch it a little bit, and then off he’d go like a rocket… “I didn’t mean that fast”. So what felt like a continuous game of tag quickly took it’s toll on these sad cycling legs.

The ride that was supposed to be 90 minutes to maybe two hours ended up totaling just over 3 hours. At that point, it’s not even your quads that hurt, it’s your sit bones, hands, shoulders, neck… and the “other” muscle groups we forget about when we haven’t been on a bike in an embarrassingly long amount of time. Cough, December.

So how did all of this total me ending up in the bushes for a solid half mile trek? Well, adding insult to injury of a windy day, at around the 3 hour mark, Google decided to throw in a monkey wrench as well. Here we were pedaling along the navigational prompts that maps had touted as a “cycleway” and suddenly the bike path ends and we are on a tiny sliver of a highway shoulder. Think less than a car tire width.

So we pull off into the ditch and Ray is super confused as all the devices he has on his handlebars, and his back pocket iPhone are saying forge ahead. So somehow he decides that if we just stay on the highway for “like 800 meters it’ll all be good” and “just punch it like an interval and we’ll be done”. Ummmmm we weren’t all good, and we were far from being done.

As we popped back on the bikes, we waited for a break in traffic and off we went blazing down the road. When suddenly this A-hole driving a white Volvo station wagon was centimeters from re-writing my future. Seriously, is it necessary to also HONK while you purposely graze a cyclist?

So I was super pissed and lets be honest scared shitless, as Ray pulled into another highway break-down area. He was head scratching how badly even his iPhone maps had miscalculated, and had no idea the events that had unfolded behind him. Thus he got yelled at. My adrenaline was so high at that moment, I would have yelled at a baby bunny if it had hopped out of the bush. So, Ray being the only other candidate I took out on him what I would have liked to say to the Volvo driver.

          (I inserted this photo so you know I'm not always that grumpy!)

We both agreed that going forward on with that speed of a highway was not a safe option, and there was no clear sign of a bike path/ shoulder ahead. At that moment we noticed through the bushes the “Cycleway” parallel to us… on the other side of a canal. Let me tell you, there was ZERO way that Ray could have gotten us from our original stopping point down to that cycleway. The maps were simply just wrong. So, I knew at that point he probably deserved an apology… but so did my sit bones. So we did the only logical thing that we could. Clipped out and hiked down the hillside and along the water.

We did consider crossing a damn and throwing our bikes across to one another, but eventually overruled it due to high level of possible fail. So we kept hiking, through the stinging nettles and all. Eventually we found a good crossing point, did that, and had a largely uneventful last 3km to the train station.

At the station Ray looked at me and said “you did really good!”… like in a genuine voice. And then he bought me a Snickers bar. All was forgiven on both sides.

We laughed quite a bit on the train home about how bad the headwinds were, me almost having a bad day, and how these stories always crop up in our relationship.

I made it home just in time to grab a quick shower and pick up the peanuts from the daycare. They were none the wiser.

As always, thanks for joining me for another tall tale. Until next time. Run and ride safe!

~The Girl


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