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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Filming with the Caravan Channel at the NEC

We had a very exciting day at the Motorhome and Caravan Show yesterday. We are at the NEC in Birmingham all week and have been very busy talking to lots of showgoers about the Batribike range of electric bikes and demonstrating the Cykell tow-ball mounted bike carrier.

Yesterday at the end of the show the Caravan Channel were on our stand filming all about folding electric bikes and featuring the new Dash Pro.

Presenter John Wickersham was very excited about folding electric bikes and had several questions for Sue on how they worked.

We are looking forward to seeing the programme when it airs which we think will be on Monday 27th October at 8.00pm. The Caravan Channel is on Sky 192 or Freesat 402.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Batribike at the Cycle Show

Getting organised for the Cycle Show at the NEC had kept us busy for some time. This year we had taken a bigger stand and therefore our display needed to be bigger. With everything ready we trekked off to the NEC in Birmingham with two fully loaded vans.

I am delighted that everything went together well and the stand looked very smart. We had extra seating and a table this year which gave us a chance to sit down and chat with our visitors.

The electric bike test ride area was laid out slightly differently this year and we were able to have our gazebo just across the aisle from our stand. We had five bikes in the test ride area where Ralph and Debbie were able to set riders off around the test track. There was a nice hill too, which was optional.

Considering the size of the test track the mileages on the bikes were impressive. The Breeze we can only estimate as it has no means of recording distance, but we are estimating 40 miles. The Dash was 41.4 miles and the Dash Pro 48.6. The Diamond Pro achieved 47.1 and the Granite Pro was most popular at 52.2 miles. This gives a total for the four days of 236.6 miles! This is an amazing 100 miles more than last year.

We talked to lots of people over the four days, from existing dealers to potential dealers and existing customers to potential customers. It was lovely to hear everyone’s stories and enthusiasm for our electric bikes. Thank you to everyone who came to see us.

Datatag were at the show with their own stand explaining how the system is very effective as a theft deterrent. Batribike electric bicycles and electric trikes all come with Datatag fitted as standard. The orange Granite Pro featured on the data tag stand.

The Cykell tow-ball mounted bike carrier had a huge amount of attention too. We have an excellent display stand that has a tow-ball on it so that we can demonstrate exactly how the system works. The advertising panel on the stand shows the rack mounted on a roller coaster - it really is that secure! Everybody that saw it was impressed by it’s quality and ease of use. I am sure it will be THE name in cycle carriers in the near future.

Now we have a short time to recover before we are back at the NEC for the Motorhome and Caravan Show in less than two weeks time.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Batribike on the BBC!

Yesterday evening the National Lottery Stars programme on the BBC awarded accolades to several remarkable projects across the UK.

One of the awards was for an environmental project. The award was won by the Helix Park in Scotland. The Helix is a brand new public space created to link Falkirk to Grangemouth with miles of foot and cycle paths.

Batribike dealer Easygo Electric Bikes runs an electric bike hire throughout the region. Customers can collect a bike from one location and drop it of at one of the other official hire stations.

The award was presented by Scottish actress Laura Main who is well known for riding a bicycle in the popular TV series "Call the Midwife". Laura was seen riding a Batribike Diamond through the Helix park.

Well done and congratulations to the Helix and to Gordon of Easygo Electric Bikes for the award.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Electric Bike Ride Round Kielder Water

Kielder Water in Northumberland is a man-made reservoir which has a multi-user track that stretches 26.5 miles all the way round. On Friday I had the amazing opportunity to ride the Batribike Diamond Pro electric bike on that track.

The weather was overcast as we arrived at the Tower Knowe Visitor Centre and car park just below the dam on the southern shore. We packed our cameras, waterproofs, bottled water and apples, to sustain us on the adventure, and set off. We had decided to take the clockwise route, starting on the shady side and saving the sunny northern shore for the return journey.

I was immediately impressed with the surface and width of the track. My research had shown that it is suitable for cyclists, walkers and wheelchairs and I would definitely agree. The track does occasionally meet a road but apart from car park areas we did not share any part with road traffic – it was a very safe route for all.

We started along the waterside and then headed into the trees. The route was very well way-marked and the handy little map that we picked up in the visitor centre told us where to find sculptures and other points of interest around the route.

Some of the roads that we met showed a different history of the area, before it was a reservoir.
The end of the Road!
There were also new bridges to carry the route round. This curved suspension bridge was a lovely sight as we came out of the trees.

Kielder Water itself was obviously the star of the show and we had some lovely views as we rode round.

This wooden head had stairs inside so you could climb to the first floor and look out of the eyes!

I had assumed that the route would be fairly level as it is a waterside route, but actually it is quite undulating with some quick ascents and descents. The Diamond Pro took them all in its stride, I did have to increase to max power and drop down the gears for the steepest ones but this was not a problem. I was very impressed with its performance. We were about two thirds of the way round when we me a lady coming the other way on a Batribike Diamond LCD. We said hello and how are you doing. She said that she was very pleased that since getting her Diamond she rides further than she did before.

We soon reached some giant reclining chairs and stopped in the sunshine to eat our apples.

The open stretches of track were bounded by heather, Willowherb and waving grasses and were full of Finches that rose like swarms of butterflies and fluttered along in front of us.

We finished the ride across the dam and back to the car park as the skies became a little darker. A great day out and a good workout for the bikes.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Poppies at the Tower, and Ride London

Yesterday the alarm went off at 3.00 am. It was time to get up and head into London! Batribike had once again been invited to demonstrate electric bikes in Green Park for the RideLondon Free Cycle event.

It was still dark as we drove along the Embankment and I used my phone to get a quick picture of the London Eye all lit up.

Then onward down the Mall in the dark as the barriers went up.

We arrived at the BEBA electric bike test area and unloaded, as it began to get light we got set up and ready for the day. We were in a different part of the park this year but the designated test ride area certainly meant that lots more people came to have a try out and see what electric bikes were all about.

Once again I took the opportunity to ride the FreeCycle route. The Mall looked different in the daylight and it was nice to be out riding the Batribike Diamond Pro.

This time it wasn't just the taking part that was on my mind. I really wanted to see the WW1 memorial poppies at the Tower of London. The Tower is the turning point for the ride where the cyclists sweep round a U-Turn bend. It was quite crowded here and I edged across to the side of the road and dismounted onto the pavement.

Everyone wanted to see the poppies and the pavement was crowded with tourists and cyclists trying to catch a glimpse of the sea of red ceramic poppies that form the start of this major art installation Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red.

I got my bike across to the railings and peered across the greenery for my first look. Wow! It was breath taking, and emotional too.

I wheeled my bike through the crowds to get to a lower level for a better view. I was going against the flow of tourists who seemed bemused by the sheer numbers of cyclists pushing their bikes.

The poppies are amazing. 888,246 of them are being ‘planted’ by volunteers. Each one represents a British or Colonial military fatality from the First World War. All the poppies will be in place and the moat filled by Armistice Day on November the 11th. The roof of the White Tower is black, so the view from above will be of one immense memorial poppy.

It was time to complete the ride and I headed back to Green Park.

There were certainly lots of happy ‘electric smiles’ as visitors tried out the various bikes.

Finally it was time to pack up and head home. We left the park at 8.00 pm just fifteen hours after we had arrived, but what a great day, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in London.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Le Tour - in Essex

The Tour de France was passing through Essex today and I couldn't let that pass by without going out to take a look. Ralph and I took the Granite Pro and Diamond Pro electric bikes, and our sandwiches, out to what we hoped would be a good spot to watch the action. Most of the way was on cycle paths and we were amazed at the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians all heading in the same direction.

The last section was on quiet country roads although there were a few cars that were obviously trying to get through while they could. The last road we needed was closed to cars which allowed us to ride side by side and enjoy the scenery and lovely weather.

When we arrived at our chosen vantage point there were already quite a number of spectators all enjoying the sunshine and a picnic. The mood was very friendly with everyone sharing their updates on where the riders were and how long everyone thought it would be before they arrived.

While we waited various support vehicles passed by bibbing their horns and waving. Then there was a gentleman on a Penny farthing, on of the French Gendarmes on a motorbike passed by and told him to get off and push, the crowd were disappointed and told the Penny Farthing rider "He's gone now you can ride again!"

Finally behind a cavalcade of motorcyclists came the riders, two a little way in front and then the Peleton - it was all over so fast - but I really enjoyed being there. Everyone was waving and cheering the riders on. When they had passed by along came a group of police motorcyclists and emergency vehicles and they got as big a cheer as the cyclists and were happy to wave back at the waving crowd.

Then it was time to ride back to the office. The first part was good, everybody was still excited and all together, then we were on the cycle path through fields which was lovely.

Sorry I am going to have a rant now - Once we got back into town with the crowds that had been on the streets there there was a marked change. I was absolutely amazed that these pedestrians had been to see a cycle event but then were completely intolerant and without consideration to the cyclists on the shared use route. The pedestrians filled the whole width of the cycle/pedestrian path and mumbled and complained when cyclists who had slowed and moved with consideration passed them! That's it rant over.

Rant aside it was a marvellous event and I am really glad that I made the effort to go out and watch.

Le Tour - In Yorkshire

Batribike has had a very busy weekend, not only were we at the East of England Electric Bike Show on Saturday we were also in Leeds for the Grand Depart.

To coinside with the start of the Tour de France the Yorkshire Bicycle Show was held in the Town Hall in Leeds. Batribike official dealer The South Yorkshire Electric Bike Centre was exhibiting there and Batribike went along to help demonstrate electric bikes on Saturday and Sunday.