Welcome to the Batribike Electric Bicycles Blog. We are also on Facebook and Twitter

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.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Bristol Electric Bike Festival

What a brilliant day we had yesterday at the electric bike event organised by Bristol Council in conjunction with Batribike dealer Atmosphere.

It was an early start for us (4.30 a.m!!) as we we drove down from our base near Lincoln. We were all set and ready by 10 o'clock and waiting for the public.

The lovely thing about being out and about at different locations is that you get to see all sorts of places you wouldn't perhaps normally see. This time it was Bristol Cathedral. I was told that there were toilets for the event in the Cathedral. What a treat it was to go inside and see the lovely architecture. I even went out into the courtyard garden.

We were very busy with test rides going on all day - even at the end of the day when everybody was trying to pack up - we still had people out riding the Breeze. They wanted to try the Breeze particularly because they had been watching people test riding and said that everyone they had seen on the Breeze had looked very comfortable and happy. I am delighted that having ridden it they immediately asked if they could order one!

All the Batribike bikes had lots of interest but particularly the Dash Pro and Breeze - both folding electric bikes.

Also on show we had the Cykell tow ball mounted cycle carrier. We had it mounted on a display stand so that we could demonstrate how easy it is to fit. We had several people come and say "Well show me this fantastic new rack" in a way that showed they didn't think that they would be impressed. Once we had demonstrated it their reaction was "Wow! That's brilliant! Fantastic design"

All in all, a lovely day out in the sunshine and lots of lovely people riding the Batribike bikes.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

West Country Sunshine

The new Dash Pro and Cykell bike carrier are in at the warehouse now so I have been out and about on a three day tour of the West Country demonstrating them to some of our dealers.

The weather was lovely for driving and the countryside was spectacular. At the moment everything is really green, as the summer progresses the fields turn browner and loose that newness that they have at the moment.

I headed all the way down to Cornwall to the very south west of the country to visit Top Gear electric bikes at Penryn just next to Falmouth.

Coming back to Devon I crossed the Tamar Bridge and had to stop to take a picture. The Royal Albert Bridge carries the railway and was designed by one of my heroes, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Last time I was here it had scaffolding on it as repairs were being made. It was good to see it out in the open again.

When I called in at Route 2 Bike Shop at Topsham Quay near Exeter I met a very happy customer who has a Granite Pro in orange. He is a tradesman and used his electric bike for work so he has added panniers to carry his tools (complete with matching orange decals) and sometimes he also tows a trailer. He said that he was really enjoying his bike and that the hills held no fear for him now.

Heading off to Weymouth I took the scenic coastal road and was treated to a spectacular view of Chesil Bank. The 18 mile long shingle beach is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From there it was time to head home the wild flowers on the roadside verges had been lovely for the whole trip but I couldn't resist these Oxeye Daisies I found near the New Forest.

We are off to the Electric Bike Festival in Bristol tomorrow so I hope the weather stays fine.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

All Party Parliamentary Cycle Ride

Yesterday I went on the MP's and Peers bike ride in London. The event traditionally heralds the start of Bike Week, promoting cycling to all.

The cycle ride started early with breakfast and speeches at the Dutch Embassy. Then the MET Police marshalled everyone over the road to Kensington Gardens where we all assembled in front of the Albert Memorial for photos.

I had driven in earlier with a folding bike in the boot, I parked a little away from the Embassy and cycled in. I was lucky enough to be riding the new Dash Pro in orange/white which looked stunning in the sunshine. I know this because I had so many comments from other riders at the event who wanted to know all about it.

Pictures over, the ride was lead out by the Dutch Ambassador Laetitia van den Assum and Robert Goodwill MP Minister for Transport. It was a glorious day for a ride, especially amongst so many of London's great landmarks.
The Dutch Ambassador and Robert Goodwill MP
As we left the Albert Memorial with the Albert Hall on our right we headed out into Hyde Park and through the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park corner. After that we rode down Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace and onto Birdcage Walk all the way down until we saw the tower that holds Big Ben at Westminster. It always fascinates me that I can be here in this great City riding past these iconic places, I almost have to pinch myself!
Horses and Carriages came through as we approached Wellington Arch
Constitution Hill

Once we arrived at Westminster we were shepherded through the gates to park our bikes in the garden outside the House of Lords. Taking our bags through the security scanners and receiving visitors passes we headed into one of the committee rooms to hear members from all parties outline their vision for cycling. I even managed to pose a question about electric bikes!

Then it was time to ride back to the car. Coming back past Buckingham Palace there were huge numbers of tourists watching and listening to the military band playing in front of the Palace. Riding a slightly different route back through Hyde Park I passed the Serpentine lake and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain all so evocative of summer with the fragrant smell of roses in the background.
Crowds at the Palace
And so ... back to the office to download my pictures and ponder on how lucky I am to get such a great day out.