Hooked on Bikes – All The Gear, No Idea

Around this time last year I got back into Mountain bikes. I dusted off the Cube Acid I bought back in 2011 and started riding again. The problem with bikes in 2021 is you start looking on YouTube and feel you need to have “modern geometry” and 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

To be fair it was not a bad bike but with 100mm travel and really geared up for cross country stuff, it was overly lively on the gnarlier trails, so I pretty quickly decided to buy a new bike.

Thanks to Covid, the bike industry was suffering major shortages on decent bikes, so I elected to build my first bike from a mix of second hand parts off ebay and drivetrain from my Cube.

This was the result, which is actually now converted to be Sarah’s bike – hence the girl seat and hot pink DMR grips & pedals.

(Brand-X HT-01 frame with Manitou Markor 130mm Forks):

The bike was awesome but I felt the skinny rim on the 135mm QR hub might start to buckle as I started pushing the envelope, was still keen on having a hardtail. So around december I built up an Octane One Prone and this was pretty hardcore for a hardtail but most of the better parts such as 160mm Rockshox Yari forks, chunky shimano brakes and dropper made it onto my next bike.

I’ve recently rebuilt this bike though with some budget MT200 brakes, spare drivetrain and some new DT Swiss wheels. I missed how quick the the black bike was cross country, with the rear XC tyre and lightweight-ness so decided to replicate that in the reincarnation of this blue Octane One.

Here is the latest iteration of the “Blue Bike”

(Octane One Prone – both versions):

First iteration, hardcore version.
Second iteration, spare bike

Finally, fast forward to around march time 2021, I started riding faster and harder, finding places I could allow gravity to assist and trying the odd tabletop or double. I did come unstuck a few times on rutty corners, and nearly crashed, so decided… rather than improve skill I’ll buy a full suspension trail bike.

Really wanted to buy a fully built one this time but the industry still hasn’t recovered from Covid and I was pretty sure if I put away the snobery and bought a frame that was a couple of years old, I could service the shock and fit all new parts elsewhere.

So that’s what I did. I ended up with a decent spec enduro bike, frame and shock cost me about the same as a monarch rc3 shock alone. The extra travel and slacker geometry has taken some getting used to.

At first it felt quite slow and made my local trails feel tame, less entertaining than the Octane One even. It took a few rides to realise that I could push it much harder and then get bigger grins.

With that I bought a full face helmet for confidence and decided to maintain two bikes for myself, dependant on where I want to ride,

There is a pretty intermediate, but fun downhill track at my local trail center. My previous best time thee on the Octane One with same forks, brakes and tyres was around 57s. My first proper run on this bike was 52s – that’s quite a saving on such a short run!

(Vitus Sommet with Rockshox Yari 160mm Forks & Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 shock):

Awesome – Using Ubuntu in a Hyper-v Enhanced Session

I have found out today that you can’t enable automatic login and can’t use an enhanced session within hyper-v.

Even if you enable enhanced session in powershell using cmdlet:

Set-VM "Ubuntu" -EnhancedSessionTransportType HVSocket

The session will only connect natively, which will result in no scaling abilities and poor video performance.

Auto login is not supported as an enhanced session is possible through an alternative xrdp login

The secret therefor is to toggle off autologin, if you have enabled it. This can be done in the user settings:

Call of Duty Warzone on a Mac

Recently I got into Call of Duty Warzone and was playing on the PS4. On my previous post I decided I needed to get back to the Keyboard & Mouse route so glued some foam to a plank of wood and called it a Sofa Desk.

You can’t natively run Warzone on the Mac, at the time of writing this blog post, it’s available on PC, Xbox or PS4. But you can bootcamp a Mac!

After testing, for a few hours, COD Warzone runs absolutely fine on the mac. I’m using Windows 10 on bootcamp. I didn’t want to lose too much space so made the Windows partition 70GB and installed Warzone onto a 128GB USB3 flash drive.

I’ve found the USB performance much better using a single usb-c to usb3 adaptor, over a multi-hub.

Spec wise the Mac is a 2019 MacBook Pro 16″ with the i7 6-core processor. This model comes with IRIS graphics but also with a Radeon Pro 5300m, which has 4GB of dedicated graphics memory. So it’s By no means a gaming laptop, but it’s beefy enough to run the game alright.

The USB memory stick that COD runs off transfers at about 200MBPS so it runs nice and smooth, even though it’s not on internal storage.

I’m not seeing any lag or slow downs, obviously it’s a 4K screen and you’re not going to run on 100% scale but I’m running at around 50-55% with anti aliasing turned on and it looks decent.

Integral 128GB USB3 memory stick is big enough and fast enough to house MW4, whilst the bootcamp Windows 10 OS sits on a partition on the internal Mac drive.


I started playing Call of Duty: Warzone the other day on the PS4 but I kinda miss playing games on a PC with keyboard & mouse.

I’m by no means a pro with a keyboard & mouse but I used to be quite handy on CS:GO and I can’t get on with fps with controllers.

But I can’t really go and lock myself in the bedroom and play COD in the evening (kids) so what’s the solution?

Well I have a MacBook Pro 16″ and I didn’t realise but it’s got an alright graphics card. So I’ve bootcamped, made a tiny partition for OS and running COD off of a 128gb USB3 thumbdrive!

How about a mouse though…. on your lap?

Behold… “The Sofa Desk” or “Couch Table”, padded underneath for hours of comfortable ‘working’ and foam side supports, so work doesn’t have to be a ‘balancing act’

(The boxes are weights to help the glue stick)


I used my alotted daily exercise slot to take the little one for a walk (push) around “Oxclose Woods” earlier today. It was great to have some fresh air.

With the power of the measuring tool on the iPhone, I measured the gradient of “the steep hill”, a challenge on the calfs, if pushing a pushchair.

15deg if that interests you!

Pictures don’t do it justice.

Ramblings of Rob