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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Newcastle-under-Lyme Store Opening

We had a great time on Saturday visiting E-lectric Avenue the new electric bike specialist in Staffordshire.

Owner Alex Hewitt has been working hard on refurbishing his new premises. Despite not getting the keys when was originally agreed the huge floor rebuild and redecoration was almost completed in time for the "soft opening" event on Saturday. There are just the final finishing touches to complete.


The burnt pine floor and walls really set off the bikes and the Christmas tree donated by his neighbours over the way gives a festive feel. The little shopping arcade which connects the High Street to parking areas has a lovely friendly feel with the other shops really supporting each other.


We displayed the whole Batribike range outside the shop and had a thoroughly enjoyable day talking electric bikes. It was great to publicise the new shop and to talk to so many people who could really see the benefits of this type of transport. The advantage of having a local specialist with expert servicing and advice was also clear.


Newcastle-under-Lyme is really taking business very seriously. We met a Street Ambassador, a non profit organisation that is working with the local council to help new local businesses and to create a vibrant retail centre.


We wish Alex and E-lectric Avenue all the best for the coming year and congratulations on the opening.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Cycling and Walking Innovations 2017

Batribike was at The Oval cricket ground yesterday. The Cycling and Walking Innovations 2017 event brought together decision makers and speakers from diverse backgrounds but all with a common goal.

An early start to the day as we travel into London.
Lots of cyclists making use of the cycle lanes.
The event focussed on innovation in active travel. This is an area where electric bikes are taking a strong lead. To reach government targets on increased cycle journeys and decreased emissions and congestion in towns and cities across the UK, decision makers need to be engaged and active.



There are several initiatives already implemented including dockless bike share schemes. These are being run by a number of different companies and are being rolled out across cities including London, Oxford and Norwich.

View of the Oval cricket ground
Erik Tetteroo from the Dutch Cycling Embassy spoke about innovations in infrastructure that could be easily implemented here. These included ways to stop congestion at cycle lane traffic lights.

Jesse Norman, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport said that the shift to fully multi modal transport is happening. There will be a safety review for cycling and walking to ensure users are as protected and safe as possible. He wants to ensure a “harmonious interaction” between all transport users.

Jesse Norman addresses the conference
He commended electric bikes for helping older or less able riders and for giving confidence to all riders. Cycling, one of the oldest forms of transport is changing at an extremely fast rate – these are exciting times.

A new cycle route sign board on display
Batribike had several bikes on display and in the test ride area. It was great to be able to give people who have never ridden an electric bike a chance to “have a go”. Many attendees who talk about ebikes but have never ridden one now have a big grin having felt that electric assistance for the first time.



We look forward to exchanging further ideas and information with some of the people we met, and to hear about future innovations. Going forward, electric bikes are a really important part of the transport mix for the future.


A different view of the Shard for our journey home


Monday, 30 October 2017

Show Busy!

It has been a busy show season for Batribike. At this time of year we are wearing a track to the NEC Birmingham for the Cycle and Motorhome Shows.

The stand looking lovely before the start of the Cycle Show
As usual we have had a great time. We enjoy talking to our past and present customers and hearing all about their ebike adventures. To make things even busier we are celebrating our tenth anniversary with the launch of 2 new bikes!

Jørgen from ProMovec with one of the new TEN bikes
The Cycle Show was busy with prospective new dealers - watch out for news on the website about them soon.

The test ride area was fantastically busy again with so many positive comments about our bikes and also the new anniversary centre motor bikes the TEN.

A test rider on the Batribike Delta
The Motorhome Show was really busy - over 100,000 visitors in six days, and it felt like was spoke to nearly all of them!

The doors open and the first visitors are on their way
The Sigma proved to be very popular at this show. A folding bike is always interesting to this type of leisure rider, but the hub gearing on the Sigma was a really positive point - dangly derailleur to catch when stowing and a really low step through too.

Now we are looking forward to next years shows!

The Batribike Alpha next to the Lego Caravan
An electric bike is an ideal leisure accessory. The Batribike Omega is seen here on a caravan rack


Friday, 13 October 2017

Top Cyclist Awarded Honorary Doctorate

On Wednesday, I was very proud to be at the Anglia Ruskin University graduation of my future daughter-in-law.

At the same ceremony, at Chelmsford Cathedral, top cyclist Alex Dowsett was presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Health Science. Alex has shown courage and determination in his commitment to become a world-class athlete. He is the only able-bodied, elite sportsperson in the world with haemophilia.

Born and bred in Essex, Alex has won a remarkable five British National Time Trial Championships – two more than Sir Bradley Wiggins. In May 2015 he extended the World Hour Record by nearly half a kilometre. He rode an astonishing 52.937 kilometres in an hour on the velodrome, at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre.


It was a privilege to be there – even accidentally – to see him receive his award. He will be an inspirational role model for all the students, particularly those studying Sports Science and Sports Coaching.

Congratulations Alex!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

On Location with Estuary TV

Yesterday I was out and about in North Lincolnshire with Estuary TV. Batribike was invited to take part in a programme about cycling around local communities.

Last week Estuary TV had been working with conventional pedal cycles and had been filming with Batribike stockist, Rusty’s Cycles, in Scunthorpe. This week it is all about electric bikes.

I went down to Picarock our local dealer in Cleethorpes to meet the team. The presenter, Luke Adams, will be riding the Batribike Omega in Cleethorpes and surrounding area for two days. He will be seeing local sights and interviewing local people on his journey.


Filming started outside with Luke telling viewers that he would be using an electric bike for this week’s adventure. He then went inside the shop to interview Richard Soulby of Picarock.


Moving outside, I showed Luke the finer points of the Batribike Omega and was filmed talking about Batribike’s ten years in the electric bike industry.


We moved over the road to the fantastic cycleway along the prom at Cleethorpes, and Luke had his first try on an electric bike. He loved it! Not only was it easy to ride but comfortable too. Luke also loved the on-trend brown and cream colours of the bike.


Filming then of the bike in action and the fantastic traffic free cycle lane.


A production meeting with Luke still on the Omega.


Reporting in action!

Riding past Cleethorpes Coast Guard Station and reporting to camera at the same time.

I had arrived at PicaRock on a misty drizzly morning but the sun had soon come out and I had had an enjoyable morning. Luke and the Estuary TV team were off to Cleethorpes Pier for other interviews.
I will be back in Cleethorpes this afternoon and am looking forward to meeting up with them again.

Many thanks to Richard and Mick at Picarock for their hospitality.

Today I have just been to collect the bike and was delighted to meet up again with Luke and Neil the Cameraman and Director. It was great to hear that they have embraced the idea of electric bikes and enjoyed their two days with the Omega.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

RideLondon Free Cycle 2017

This year was the fifth anniversary of one of the world’s leading cycling events. It is an event that has something for everyone. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist, a first time rider on a Boris Bike or a youngster on a strider bike.

Some of the Batribike team went along to enjoy the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle event. Eight miles of London Streets are closed to motorised traffic to allow cyclists to enjoy the iconic landmarks and festival feeling that goes with the event.

Batribike Omega at St Katherine Dock

Batribike Delta at St Katherine Dock
We parked near St Katherine Dock and met our other riders who had come by train. I love looking round the dock here. It has such a lovely quiet village feel yet is just a few yards from the Embankment and Tower Bridge.

After a few pre ride pictures of the bikes we set off. Under Tower Bridge and along the cobbles, past The Tower, and onto Lower Thames Street. The Cycle Superhighway runs along here and we crossed the dual carriageway to join it. What a great cycle lane this is, completely separated from the fast moving traffic.

We soon turned off and headed up to the Monument. The sun was shining and we were all excited to be in London. We joined the FreeCycle route here. The route is directional, when you have 70,000 riders on the road it is best to have them all going the same way!


We travelled along the Embankment to Westminster and up Birdcage Walk to Buckingham Palace. The crowds on the pavements were huge and there was a lovely festival atmosphere with riders ringing their bells and waving flags.


As always my favourite part was riding up the Mall to Trafalgar Square. We saw a cycling sofa – people pedalling recumbent style. It had a large speaker and the riders were beat boxing. Another high point was the ride round the new financial buildings – the Gerkin looks so much bigger up close.





After two circuits it was time to go. Another brilliant RideLondon! I thoroughly enjoyed my stress free ride on the Perdu. My injured knee coped very well with 16 miles of riding and most of the time I was on the lowest level of assistance. I have the date for next year’s event noted in my diary.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Can Electric Bicycles really be Healthy?

The title says it all really! The answer is yes! The whole idea that electric bikes are cheating is a misconception. However, many people look at electric bikes and immediately say “That’s cheating” or “Don’t be lazy”. People are also saying “I shall keep pedalling my old bike just as long as I can” or “I’m not old enough for one of those yet”. This is mostly because the way that electric bikes work is not widely understood.

Modern electric bicycles or battery bikes are designed to assist the rider. The rider pedals and the motor assists. Most electric bikes have the ability to select the amount of assistance given by the bike. Once you understood that riding an electric bike doesn’t mean that that you have given up having any kind of input at all, the benefits are much clearer.


Riding an electric bike on pedal assist mode is classed as ‘moderate’ exercise. NHS guidelines state that adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate exercise a week. So a person who uses their electric bike to ride to work every day could be achieving the recommended weekly exercise. Whereas someone who drives to work every day but then does a half an hour brisk walk on both days of the weekend would not.

So are electric bike riders ‘cheating’ or ‘lazy’? The answer is a resounding ‘No!’
Typically electric bike riders are more likely to go out on their bikes. Many riders who purchase a normal pedal cycle with good intentions often find that it ends up just sitting in the shed. The benefits are clear for those with leg or joint weakness. Taking the strain out of riding but allowing the joints to mobilise means that many more people can get out into the fresh air and feel good about taking exercise.

Furthermore, those people who say “I shall keep pedaling my old bike just as long as I can” should be applauded, but they should still consider how far they are riding. Would they go further or more often with electric assistance?

So, in answer to the question “Can Electric Bicycles really be Healthy?” Yes they can!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Electric Bike Law in Northern Ireland

As members of the BAGB (Bicycle Association) we get updates on all sorts of regulations and information. We have recently found out that the regs for electric bikes in Northern Ireland are not the same as they are for the rest of the UK.

It seems that an electric bike, that we treat as a conventional pedal cycle here, is not the same in Norther Ireland. Regulations were not carried over and at the moment electric bikes or EAPC's are classed as moped's in NI.

This is set to change as politicians work to get this oversight in the regulations brought into line. You can read more about Northern Ireland Ebike Legislation on the Batribike website.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Electric Bike Demo's in Bournemouth

Visiting our Batribike stockists and doing demo days is always good fun. It is a chance to show off our full range of European built 2017 ebikes and to chat with our customers about what they look for in an electric bike.

On Saturday we were in Bournemouth to support Colm at the e-Cycles Centre. It was a sunny day and it was lovely to see everyone that turned out despite the heat.



The excellent weather is set to continue as we head to Devon today. I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Bude on Wednesday and Topsham on Thursday.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Automated Cycle Parking in London

It was great to hear about automated cycle parking this week. We attended the Bicycle Association (BA) Spring meeting in London on Tuesday, and part of the meeting was to hear from Nick Knight of EcoCycle.

Automated cycle parking is very like automated car parking. You would take your bicycle to one of these units, push it into a slot and the bike is taken into the secure facility and parked in a stack. The idea from Japan enables lots of bikes to be parked securely in a small space, and can even be located underground with just a small kiosk at street level.



With a growing cycle network and number of cycle journeys, cycle parking could definitely become an issue - we don't want the footpaths in cities to just be lined with parked bikes. This is a simple and effective solution. Because the facility is secure, only you can retrieve your bike, you can also leave any luggage and your cycle helmet strapped to your bike.

I think that electric bike users would be really happy to use something like this. In the not to distant future there may even be charging facilities so that when you return your bike is charged and ready to go!



Ralph and I were please to go to Southwark after the meeting to see a prototype in action. Nick explained that these units could be used for public parking, for businesses to install for staff parking or for new residential developments as resident parking.


A small device would be securely fitted to the bike so that the parking machine can recognise it when it arrives. Customers will be able to retrieve their bikes with either a card or a smart phone.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Bicycle Blogger and Police Cyclist in Weymouth

Tim's Cycle Shop held an electric bike open day on Saturday. Batribike went along with extra demo bikes to help out. I do enjoy this sort of event, you just don't know who you will meet.

Blogger Richard Anders came to see what was going on and to take some pictures. Richard has taken his love for cycling and for photography and embarked on a 365 day project to chart cycling in 2017. He is posting a cycling related picture and story every day for the whole year. If you would like to follow Richard's 2017 cycling story you can see it on tumblr http://cycle365project.com


Having already met Ralph at the London Bike Show and done a story on Tim earlier in the year it was great to get us all together and Richard kindly took a picture of the team at the event.


Ralph and I had arrived in Weymouth the night before and we all walked into town for an evening meal. It seems that Tim knows everyone in Weymouth and everyone knows Tim. There is a great community feel to his cycle shop. As we walked out on Friday evening me met the local Community policeman on his bicycle, he stopped for a chat and promised to drop by the next day.


The team had a tea urn on the go from the start of the demo day with biscuits and cake to tempt the visitors. The community feel to the day continued with customers new and old dropping in to test ride the bikes and enjoy the hospitality.


At the end of the day we headed off home and couldn't resist the scenic route past Stonehenge. What a great day it had been.