Why buy an electric bike?

I’m not talking about electric motorbikes, they are a completely different category of vehicle, though to be honest I’d love one 🙂 I have a full bike licence but not the cash.

So why buy an electric pedal assist push iron? Simple, they really really do help you get up them thar hills.

Electric bikes differ visually from a regular bike very little, with newer e-bikes you could be hard pressed to tell the difference, with batteries built in to the frame or designed to looke like the frame, that tell tale bulge is now difficult to even see. Even the motor is less obvious, mid-drives even more so. I had a chat about electric bikes with a guy called Steve last Thursday in Oxenhope, it took me a few minutes to even notice he had an e-bike! So e-bikes can look identical to a regular bike, but it’s not the looks that sets them apart, it’s the feel and effort that you’ll notice immediately, but only when you throw your leg over and start peddeling.

My previous bike was a Specialized Myca, a hard tail mountain bike, and it was awesome, but being a 35 year smoker even this bike was hard work to keep going around here. (Halifax and man do we have some serious hills).

My Carrera Crossfire-E is worlds apart, a different breed all together. The hills that I had to stop on and get catch my breath are no longer a problem. Even around Halifax I can ride just about any hill without stopping once. My last ride was 25 miles, I did record it, but it was such a stop start affair (28c heat and a lack of breakfast) that I just deleted the files. This ride took in some of the biggest and steepest hills around here, and even though I did stop for food and drinks and a chat with a couple of other cyclists, I didn’t stop once to rest.

I’ve had my e-bike for a couple of years now, and I’ve used it in all weathers, for doing chores , commuting and just for the sheer enjoyment of being out, and I love it, it really gives me the freedom that a regular bike doesn’t. I could also argue that it gives me more of a workout too. Instead of doing a stop start 10 mile ride, I now do a 25+ mile ride continuous ride.

The reasons for owning an e-bike will most likely differ from person to person, the overall reason will probably be the same, freedom. Instead of being limited to short distances you’ll find yourself going further and further, to different places and enjoy riding even more than ever. I maybe lucky living in such a beautiful area, and never being more than just 10 minutes away from vast open countryside, but no matter where you live, owning an e-bike will always be a better an easier way to move around. Granted if you live in a flat town or city then the reasons maybe difficult to justify, but even this can be a positive for owning an e-bike, because you’ll just be able to go further afield, instead of just commuting you might go shopping or to friends, or just finding different routes to get to work or return home, or just go out for the sheer hell of it, because you’ll enjoy cycling even more.

If you have an injury and find cycling a little too much effort, then e-bikes again are a massive help. A couple of years ago I tore the cartilage in both my knees, and my right knee had to be operated on, one week later I was on my bike again, even the surgeon and physiotherapist were surprised at how quickly my knee healed, and the only physio appointment I had lasted 10 minutes and I was discharged. This was due to the low impact activity.

For me cycling has made a huge positive impact on my life, and its all down to the e-bike, without that extra help from our friend the electron, then I would have probably given up or would have had to push myself much much harder just to get out.

I cannot get over the point strongly enough, e-bikes ARE amazing and good one even better. Give one a try and I guarentee you’ll be a convert too.

 

 

 

 

EU Rules Change – We will need a motor insurance policy

The EC courts have ruled that all pedal assist bicycles will need a mandatory motor insurance policy, however it’s not yet law so don’t panic just yet.

Also if it does become law and a state can adopt this as law if they want to, does this mean you’ll need an applicable licence and registration?

https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/180524-proposal-motor-insurance_en

I thought the whole idea of restricting the speed was to keep pedelecs within the realm of bicycles, so should the speed limits be removed too?

Source: https://www.bikebiz.com/news/bikes-need-3rd-part-insurance-in-eu

Tektro Vela Replacing the brake pads

I’m in desperate need of new (front especially) brake pads, and seeing as this is the first time I’ve ever done it, I thought I’d better get some pointers from Youtube.

This is a job that requires you to remove the wheel(s). But it looks dead easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes.

The brakes for the Carrera Crossfire-E are Tektro Vela. The second video is replacing the brake fluid.

 

My next 2 areas of maintenance are brake fluid replacement and a new chain.

UFO, my Story.

True story: My UFO sighting near Manchester Airport. It was around 2005 and I was driving from Halifax to Airdrie (Near Glasgow) and back.

I was a class 1 HGV driver, and since it was a very long drive and could over run my driving hours it was double manned, so there were 2 drivers taking turns. On the way back we’d come down the M6 – M61 – M60 – M62, and this one morning we were stuck in early morning rush hour traffic trying to get on the M60 just south of Bolton and I was driving, the other guy, (Shane) was fast asleep.

Then I noticed a small but very bright light to the south, around Manchester airport area, and for a while I just watched it dart around, sometimes smoothly moving around, sometimes darting, almost like it disappeared and reappeared instantaneously some miles away. After around 10 minutes (we really were stuck in traffic) I noticed what looked like a fighter jet trying to chase it. The jet had no chance, it just couldn’t keep up, I thought it was just my mind playing tricks, so I woke Shane up (he wasn’t happy about it) and told him to look, and he saw it too. This went on for around 30 minutes before the light vanished once and for all, but the jet kept circling for a while before it too disappeared (problably landed).

Alexa Ghost Commands

Are you looking for a complete list of Alexa and Ghost commands for Destiny 2?

This is almost a complete list, and everytime I find a new command I’ll add it here.

Alexa, ask ghost (about)/tell ghost (to): . . . Milestones:

Prefix – “Alexa, Ask/Tell Ghost to show/tell me about…”

 

 

Alexa, ask Ghost what I should do next.
Alexa, ask Ghost what is my next mission.
Alexa, ask Ghost who in my clan is online.
Alexa, ask Ghost for a clan update.
Alexa, ask Ghost about the Tower.
Alexa, ask Ghost to tell me more about the Speaker.
“My milestones”
“What’s next?” . . . Gear:
“Save my current loadout as my crucible/raids/strikes/nightfall loadout”
“Equip my crucible/raid/strike/nightfall loadout”
“Equip my most powerful kinetic weapon/energy weapon/power weapon
“Equip my most powerful hand cannon/shotgun/submachine gun/auto rifle/ rocket launcher/sword/etc.” . . . Clan:
“Call for backup for nightfall/raid/strikes/crucible”
“Clan summary”
“Clan Rewards . . . Lore/Other:
“The planet Earth/IO/Titan”
“The tower”
“Twilight Gap”
“The Battle of Six Fronts”
“Ghosts”
“The Vex”
“The Fallen”
“The Red Legion”
“The Taken”
“Oryx”
“Rasputin”
“Osiris”
“Cayde 6”
“The Nine”
“Xur”
“Humans”
“Tell me a joke”
“Tell me a story”
“Tell me something funny”
“Ask Ghost about Twilight Gap”
“Ask Ghost about The Battle of Six Fronts”

Youtube Red SCAM Warning

I’ve just received an email from Apple (I think not!) that’s telling me I’ve subscribed to Youtube Red (a streaming music and TV service from Google), and it’s going to cost me $14.99 per month.

 

There are 2 immediate problems with this,

  1.  Youtube Red is not available in the UK
  2. I hadn’t even heard of YT red until today, so I certainly wouldn’t have subscribed.

Clicking on the UNSUBSCRIBE link takes you to a very well done but FAKE apple service page. This page then prompts you to enter your apple ID and password. DO NOT DO THIS THIS IS A SCAM!

As you can see from the URL’s, it’s a complete fake, Apple always links to apple.com or subdomain’s like sign-in.apple.com or something similar.

It’s a well done fake, but a complete fake and they’re after your details to access your account. Don’t fall into this trap!

 

ACER ET430 Monitor Review

I had to wait a while for this to come back into stock at Currys.co.uk, I’d had my eye on it for a while, it’s just a little outside my budget of £500, but the delay gave me an extra few weeks to save the extra £50.00

Now I’ve finally got it, I have to say I’m impressed, its 4K and supports 10bit HDR, 43 inches corner to diagonal corner, it supports HDMI 2.0 and Display Port normal and mini.

Initially I could not get my PS4 Pro to display in anything other than 1080P, after some time messing around with safe mode and nothing working, I started to unplug the PSVR and Elgato HD 60, and there lay the problem, the ELGATO HD 60 will only pass-through 1080P, so I stripped out the HD 60 and left the PSVR connected and boom! Everything worked fine, 2160P full RGB and HDR 🙂

I fired up The Last Of Us remaster and it’s utterly stunning, the resolution upscale and the HDR inclusion just made it look stunning. But I also noticed another thing, if you play TLOU for any amount of time, your team GLOW when they walk out of sight, this means you can see where your team is. On my previous monitor, an LG ultrawide monitor, there was some ghosting from the glow, not on this bad boy though. I will miss the ultrawide, they’re awesome for PC gaming and movies. Movies don’t have the black bars and the extra width give you an edge in almost any game that supports 2560 x 1080, which is most modern games.

Did I have to get a 4K panel? Not really, it doesn’t complete me, but having a 4K capable Mac, PC and PS4 Pro and not having a 4K screen… it’s a waste, it’s like employing a cleaner to do the dirty work, but in another life they were a world renowned network admin. But that’s what this panel does, it restores the balance, and seeing what 4K HDR looks like… it’s like going from VHS to 1080P.

Specs:

  • Response 5ms
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0
  • 2 x display port
  • 1 x mini display port
  • 43 Inches
  • 4K and 10bit HDR
  • Contrast: 100,000,000:1
  • Brightness: 350 cd/m²
  • Screen type: IPS

There is a minor downside though, who ever thought that having the ports underneath the back of the screen is a numpty. Getting access to them has meant taking the panel down, connecting/disconnecting and putting it back. It’s all a bit of a farce. Still, once you’ve finished you should be good for quite some time. My advice is to plug-in all the cables if you can, even if you don’t use them… leave them plugged in to make life easier later in case you do need them.

Overall I’m seriously impressed, it’s a beautiful screen, 4K looks amazing, HDR also looks nothing short of stunning, and considering there’s no TV tuner, no catch-up TV or anything like that, you can see why this monitor is probably a better purchase than a TV of the same price. You’ll get more bang and less stuff you don’t need.

AWESOME Screen, if you’re in the market for a monitor. It even sounds OK too. Not as good as dedicated speakers… but seriously, not too bad either.

Nice one Acer.

DOOM on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070

Destiny 2 on the PC running a 6600K (watercooled) and a GTX 1070

PS4 4K Games and HDR

 

Game 4K? HDR? Extra Features
Agents of Mayhem No Yes Better textures, better shadows. Up to 60 frames per second.
Assassin’s Creed Origins Yes No  
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Yes No  
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection Yes No  
Battlefield 1 No No Increased resolution. Better shadow and terrain detail.
 Battlezone (VR)  No  No PlayStation VR: Increased resolution, dynamic lighting, and reflections.
 Bound  Yes  No PlayStation VR: Double the pixels and extra effects.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition Yes No  
Call of Duty: Black Ops III Yes No  
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Yes No  
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Yes No  
Call of Duty: WWII No No 1620p
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy No No 1440p resolution.
Dark Souls 3 No No “Increased Framerate”
Days Gone
 Yes  Yes  
Death Stranding  Yes  Yes  
Destiny 2 Yes No  
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Yes Yes  
Dirt 4 No No Better lighting and shadows, better anti-aliasing.
Dishonored 2 No No Higher 1440p resolution, but not 4K.
 DriveClub VR (VR) No No  
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition Yes No Temporal antialiasing on 1080p displays.
Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited Yes No Increased fidelity with 1080p displays.
F1 2017 Yes Yes Better image quality on 1080p displays.
Fallout 4 No No Native 1440p visuals, enhanced draw distance
 Farpoint
(VR)
 No  No  PlayStation VR: Crisper visuals.
FIFA 18 Yes Yes  
Final Fantasy XV  Yes  Yes  High frame rate option for 1080p displays.
Firewatch No No UI renders at 4K. Better detail distance and shadows on 1080p displays.
For Honor Yes No  
Get Even Yes No  
 Gran Turismo Sport  Yes  Yes  
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice No No 60 frames per second and increased resolution options.
 Helldivers  Yes  No  
Hitman  No  Available on 1/31/17  Higher 1440p resolution. UI renders at native 4K. Better textures, lighting, antialiasing, and higher overall resolution.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
 Yes  Yes  Better image quality on 1080p displays.
Infamous: Second Son Yes Yes  Smoother visuals on 1080p displays.
Infamous: First Light Yes Yes  Smoother visuals on 1080p displays.
Injustice 2 No No 1440p, better texture quality.
Killing Floor 2 Yes No Increased textures. Dynamic shadows are crisper. Higher frame rate on 1080p displays.
Knack 2 No No Options for either 1800p visuals or higher framerate.
L.A. Noire Yes No  
Lawbreakers No No 1440p, smoother framerate.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm Yes No  
 Mantis Burn Racing  Yes  No  Crisper resolution for 1080p displays.
Madden NFL 18 Yes Yes Will run at higher framerate (60+ fps) in 1080p.
Mafia III No No 1440p resolution, improved framerate.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
 Yes Yes  
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Yes No  
 NBA 2K18  Yes  Yes  
 Neon Chrome  Yes  No  
 Nioh  Yes  No  Antialiasing enhancement and frame rate boost options on 1080p displays.
Paragon No No 1080p and 60 frames per second
 PlayStation VR Worlds (VR)  No  No  
Prey No No Better visual quality, less texture pop-in.
Project Cars 2 No No Dynamic resolution, smoother framerate.
Pyre Yes No 60 frames per second.
 Ratchet & Clank  No  Yes  Higher resolution on 4K displays. More antialiasing. Crisper image on 1080p displays.
 Resident Evil 7: Biohazard  Yes  Yes  
Rez Infinite  Yes  No  Higher resolution when using PlayStation VR.
 Ride 2  Yes  No  
RIGS Mechanized Combat League (VR)  No  No  
Rise of the Tomb Raider Yes No Increased detail in 1080p. “High frame rate” mode in 1080p.
 Robinson: The Journey (VR)  No  No  Higher resolution, longer view distances, improved textures, and lighting.
 Rocket League  Yes  No Runs at 60 frames per second in 4K, “in all arenas.”
 Smite  Yes  No  
Sniper Elite 4 No No Faster loading times, better lighting, better framerate.
Spider-man Yes Yes  
Star Wars: Battlefront II No No 60 frames per second.
Tekken 7 No No Better textures, smoother framerate.
The Evil Within 2 No No Unlocked framerate, 1260p resolution.
The Last Guardian  Yes  Yes  
The Last of Us: Left Behind Yes Yes  More detailed terrain, buildings, and foliage. Higher quality shadows. 1800p 60 frames per second option.
The Last of Us: Remastered Yes Yes  More detailed terrain, buildings, and foliage. Higher quality shadows. 1800p 60 frames per second option.
 The Playroom VR (VR)  No  No  Increased resolution.
The Surge Yes Yes Option for 60 frames per second mode.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Yes Yes Better texture filter and ambient occlusion.
The Witness
Yes Yes  Increased anti-aliasing quality.
 Thumper  Yes  No  Better anti-aliasing.
Titanfall 2  No  No  Increased resolution and better shadows.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands No No Appears to be 1440p.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Yes Yes  More detailed terrain, buildings, and foliage. 1080p multiplayer resolution. Crisper graphics on 1080p displays.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Yes Yes 60 frames per second.
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (VR)  No  No  
 Viking Squad  Yes  No  
Watch Dogs 2 No No 1080p resolution, not 4K.
 Wheels of Aurelia  Yes  No  
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus No No 1440p resolution.
World of Tanks  Yes  Yes  Smoother frame rates.
WWE 2K18 No No 60 frames per second.

Not specified

God of War Steep
Hustle Kings Super Stardust Ultra
Knack XCOM 2

 

My sincere apologies

I am sorry for the complete removal of all my videos from youtube and for the complete deletion of the website.

My reasons are simple, I suffer from depression and SAD – Seasonal affective disorder. I have done for 20 years now, and while I do take anti-depressants (mirtazapine) it seems my dosage wasn’t high enough (it was 30mg now it’s maxxed out at 45mg. The dosage was increased and I’m balanced out again.

Suffering from depression can be bad and challenging enough, but couple that with SAD over the winter months and I get clinically and dangerously depressed.

All I can do is apologise for anyone who followed the blog and my videos, I was in really bad shape at the time. I had planned to publish a blog post entitled depression and suicide, but even I found it too bleak and even a little daunting, so I held off. Maybe I should have posted it…?

Anyway, I’ve restored the blog back to it’s rightful place, I can not do the same for the videos’, so I’ll just have to make new ones eventually.

Sorry again,

Darron