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Friday, 28 May 2010

Batribike Diamond, test complete

Battery bike testing takes place in all sorts of weather, it had rained over night and the cycle paths were wet this morning which meant that the snails were out in force, doing their little suicide dash across the paths in front of my bike! Actually a snail dashing out in front of you is not as dangerous as having a large brown labrador leap out of the bushes in front of you, luckily the brakes are good on the Diamond and I came to a stand still without falling off (hurrah!) Why is it that some dog owners seem to think that this sort of thing is amusing - and acceptable!
There was an event happening at the college today and the place was swarming with primary school children, all there to learn about farming and the countryside, as I went past a man was explaining to a group of them that in Victorian times even the children had to work on the land, then a very large modern bailing machine disgorged it's load infront of them and they were amazed!
Later on there was a lady with binoculars watching the waterfowl on the reservoir, she was interested in
battery bikes and happy to chat, she told me that there were Crested Grebes and Tufted Ducks with babies out on the water as well as the usual geese and gulls. I may take my binoculars next time.
The bridge construction is coming along, lots of wooden shuttering going up ready to pour the concrete for the bridge supports. There were lots of workmen there today in many vehicles, all parked on the cycle / footpath, there would have been plenty of room to get past if it wasn't for the fact they all decided to stand in the remaining space and chat.



Mmm, I seem to have had a few grumbles today, it wasn't that bad really, I had a lovely ride, the Diamond battery powered electric bicycle was going really well, I was using level three which is one down from maximum power, travelling mostly at about 13 mph, (which is plenty quick enough when you go through a patch of flies, they sting a bit when they hit you in the face) The battery was nearly flat at 55 miles which I am really pleased with, the last light of the battery meter was flashing then which gave me just enough power to get home.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Batribike Diamond on Test



Battery bike testing gives you a chance to see the countryside changing on a daily basis. I went out yesterday afternoon to test one of our latest battery bikes on power setting three, having already achieved forty miles on level four I am hoping for a good distance on level three.
The weather has cooled considerably since I was out in the heat on Monday so I needed to wear a coat and gloves! I was amazed at the change that just two days can make on the vegetation, Oxeye daisies and Poppies that weren't there on Monday were waving in the breeze, the rape flowers have almost finished now and the fields are changing from yellow to a sort of olive green. The catterpillar bush has changed a lot too, they are on the march now spreading themselves out everywhere, the hand railing on the bridge was their new highway. Having done some research they seem to be moth caterpillars possibly Brown Tail Tussock or Ermine, they don't always cover the whole bush or tree and there was a plague of them in 1782 when Londoners were paid a shilling a bushel for their 'tents' which were then burned!

Distance testing on the Diamond battery powered electric bicycle continues today.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Battery Bike Diamond, Throttle Test


Battery Bike Diamond, Throttle Test.
Yesterday was another scorching day, 30 degrees just outside the office! Happily I was able to get out on the new Diamond battery bike later on in the afternoon. The weather was so hot that the idea of testing on throttle alone seemed like a great idea as I wouldn’t be putting in any effort and getting hotter than I already was! Ralph was able to come with me, it was really nice to have someone to ride with.
The sky was a gorgeous blue and the cow parsley was stunning, a speckly white haze over the green giving an almost bridal feel to the fields, down by the river it was interspersed with wild yellow rape, even the camera on my phone couldn't fail to take a fantastic landscape picture.
Work on the new bridge is coming along nicely, although I did wonder about how well the digger was, the workman called to his colleage "Do we have any spanners?" as we passed by.
Down by one of the small bridges over the river there was a strange looking white bush, as we got nearer I could see it was covered in whet appeared to be cobwebs. Closer inspection showed that the culprits were catterpillers, there must have been millions of them, tiny ones still inside the webs, bigger ones on the bush and even bigger ones on the railings of the bridge and the fence. It was an amazing sight and something that I had never seen before. The poor bush had no leaves left on it as it had been completely stripped by the voracious caterpillars, I'm not sure that the bush will survive.

The throttle test went very well, there was plenty of power and it was very easy to accelerate away even on inclines. I was able to complete 25 miles on throttle alone which is a great result and something which I think our customers will be very pleased with. It is a range that campares very favourably with other battery bikes.

What a difference a month makes!



The one on the left was taken at the end of April, and the one on the right was taken yesterday, even the reeds in the river are bigger and greener.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Diamond Battery Bike is the Star of the Show


Another sizzling day at the Motorhome Show at Newbury. As the sun shone many show goers enjoyed a test ride on the new Diamond battery bike. With startling blue skies and colourful flags the showground could have been transported to foreign climes, it was so unlike the traditional British weather.

Batribike shows their Battery Bikes at the Newbury Show

I have no pictures to post at the moment as it has been so hot for the last couple of days that I have stayed in the shade. The show has been fantastic with loads of visitors looking round, many of them keen to try our battery powered bicycles, particularly the new Diamond which is causing quite a stir.
The lady that won the Quartz in the Red Cross raffle at the Peterborough show came to see us, she is delighted with her battery bike and will be writing a testimonial for us.
The weather forcast says that it is going to be even hotter tomorrow, I hope that doesn't mean that the showgoers will abandon us in favour of a trip to the coast!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Riding the new Diamond Electric Bike

Yesterday afternoon I went out to test the new Batribike Diamond electric bike on its highest power level setting. There had been a few showers in the morning but by mid afternoon it was looking brighter. I set off on my normal route hoping for a good distance with the new 36v battery.

What a difference a few days makes to all the greenery out there, the cow parsley is now fully out and sprinkling the verges with a haze of white, even better than that were the dandelion clocks, with the sun shining through them the little furry balls on sticks were almost magical. The trees in the park were shedding fluff too and it was drifting along the edges of the tarmac like someone had had a huge pillow fight - quite a fluffy ride really!

There was a tractor cutting the verges of the bridleway after I had gone through the college, it's nice to see that verges are maintained even on bridleways. Work is progressing at the new bridge it seems that the tubes in the river are not a permanant feature but are part of a temporary bridge to allow the contractors to get their machinery across the river. They have now dug two huge pits with pilings around them and have put in concrete footings, the finished bridge is going to be firmly rooted.

The new Diamond electric bike is very responsive, giving a smooth ride, and easily picking up the pace when I asked it to. Distance wise I am very pleased with the performance I completed an excellent 40 miles on the top power setting, which means that if you select one of the slightly lower power settings this bike is going to give an even greater range.

I finished the ride as the evening light was starting to fade, what a lovely way to spend the late afternoon and early evening, the birds were singing and there was that fresh smell of warm vegetation.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

British Electric Bicycle Association


Today I have been to the first meeting of BEBA (British Electric Bicycle Association) at the House of Lords.

There were great numbers of paparazzi hanging about, firstly in Westminster Tube station where I gather Boris Johnson made a statement shortly after we went through, and then around the Houses of Parliament where everyone was hoping for some sort of announcement as to who was going to be Prime Minister.

Our meeting was much more low key - no paparazzi for us! but never the less very important for the electric bicycle industry here in the UK. Manufacturers, distributers and retailers are joining together to create one voice to promote electric bicycles, lobby for the correct legislation for the UK market and create an organisation that supports good practice and customer support throughout the UK.

We at Batribike electric bicycles are very excited to be part of BEBA.

Monday, 10 May 2010

IKB

Yesterday I didn't have much time to blog - cooking tea, and all that other stuff got in the way!
I was really excited to be cycling over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, it was the first time that I had been there. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is a bit of a hero of mine, he changed everyones ideas on engineering and industrialisation. Standing there on the bridge I could have been back in my history class hearing all about the industrial revolution and how Britain lead the world in engineering.
It seems amazing that there were plaques on the bridge to celebrate its 150th anniversary and yet the bridge doesn't look out of place or old fasioned. The only way to tell its age was its width, no one from the 1830's (even IKB) could have possibly imagined this amount of traffic!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Clifton Suspension Bridge



After the show closed today and we were all packed away we went for a ride to see the Clfton Suspension Bridge. We were riding the Mercury and Diamond electric bicycles. First we rode over the bridge and then walked both ways so that we could look over the sides and see just how far it was down to the River Avon. We walked the bikes down the clff footpath and rode along the cycle way below the bridge and then finally back up the hill (with ease) by road and back to the showground. A super ride and a fantastic setting.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Sun Room


After the show today we put all the sides on our sunroom for the first time. The sun has been shining on and off here in Bristol. Happy visitors tried out some of our folding electric bikes.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Transport Fleet

With the sun shining brightly this morning I couldn't resist taking pictures of our fleet in the yard outside the showroom. Sadly this is the last outing for the trailer as it is now surplus to requirements as we have a lovely second van now.

We will be off to Bristol on Thursday for the Caravan and Motorhome Show at Durdham Downs. Bristol has a fantastic network of cycle ways and I am sure we will have lots of visitors keen to try our electric bikes

Saturday, 1 May 2010

GPS troubles

Yesterday my GPS crashed for the first (and I hope only) time. I have ridden 426 miles so far with it with no problems then I noticed that the speed wasn't changing and the whole thing had locked up! Luckily I had only gone about half a mile before I realised what had happened. It wouldn't even switch off, so I had to take the batteries out. Luckily this did the trick and all my data was still in it.
I have a Garmin Foretrex which I strap the the handle bars of whichever electric bike I am riding. It's great because it shows speed, top speed for the trip, trip distance, and total distance all on the same screen. Tech is great! :-)