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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Cycle Security - Reducing Cycle Theft

Yesterday I was in London for a meeting with the APPCG (All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group). Batribike is an associate member of this organisation which gives us the opportunity to hear from leading decision makers and implementers of all things to do with cycling.

Ruth Cadbury MP chairs the APPCG meeting at Portcullis House, Westminster,
The topic was How to Reduce Cycle Theft. I know this is a concern for customers when buying an electric bike. It is a considered purchase and owners what to make sure that their lovely new bike is safe.

1. Choose a good lock

It seems that the type of lock you use is important and all the advice is that cheap cable locks are not safe. It is best to choose a lock that is marked as "Sold Secure". Sold Secure is not a brand of lock but a testing and certification facility that tests all types of security locks and marks them as to how secure they are. Started by Northumbria and Essex Police it is now run by the Master Locksmiths Association. Cycle locks are rated Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on their ability to withstand attack. Some insurers specify a level of lock depending on the value of the bike.

There is evidence too, that using two different types of lock is effective. You should also lock your bike when it is in a garage or shed at home.

2. Register your bike

Make sure you know the frame number of your bike and register it on one of the databases available. Or use a cycle marking and registration scheme that has a visible marking or sticker so that would be thieves know that it will be difficult to pass on.

Many insurers will give you a discount on your premium if your bike is marked in this way.

3. Insure your bike

Make sure that you have adequate insurance cover. Some people believe that they are covered on their household insurance and this is not always the case. Do check with your insurer if they specify the type of lock you need to use.
Batribike offers a one month free insurance with Lexham with all new bikes.

Be sensible about how and where you lock your bike and .... enjoy your riding!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

APPCG Meeting on Planning for Cycle Cities

Batribike is an associate member of the APPCG (All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group). Members are from both the Commons and the Lords who are passionate about cycling and facilitating more people to do it.
 I was please to be able to attend the meeting yesterday that was chaired by Ruth Cadbury. The speakers were Will Norman who is the first Walking and Cycling Commissioner for London, and Chris Boardman the first Walking and Cycling Commissioner for Greater Manchester.

Arriving at Westminster

Committed to Cycling

Both are committed to get more people cycling and walking and to create the space in our cities for that to happen. Whilst the meeting focussed on these two major cities I firmly believe that there is a ripple effect. When good things happen in major cities other parts of the country sit up and notice, they start to think that this could happen in their location too.
 London is ahead of Manchester with many new routes already in place and Manchester is just starting its journey, however, with an innovative way of looking at change I think things could move ahead in Manchester very quickly, and that’s good for all of us.

Chris Boardman, Ruth Cadbury and Will Norman at the APPCG meeting

Will Norman

Will Norman spoke about doubling the number of cyclists in London by 2014, he said that it is not just about creating routes, it is about the quality of the route, how easy it is to use, and about people wanting to use it.

Active Travel

It is important to improve Active Travel because for the first time in human history life expectancy has fallen. Five year olds today have had their life expectancy cut by five years! In London 9 million people are dying earlier because of air quality.
On the positive side, active travel means more foot fall past small businesses. Customers have the chance to stop and browse or buy. Will said that it was important to have a serious monitoring system, collecting data of this sort is important to proving the benefits.

Navigation and Parking

Good way marking to help people complete their journeys is crucial and TfL is looking at ways to improve this. He is looking at ways to have better bike parking in shopping and work areas.
 And finally he said – “When we have success we should celebrate! Positivity is important too.”

Chris Boardman

250 million car journeys in Greater Manchester are less than one mile! What a statistic, but also a great place to start.

Chris said that they have planned for success by getting all the individual boroughs to say where cycling and walking routes are blocked or cut of by obstructions such as major roads or canals. In this way they can look at safe crossing points and connections. What a great way to start, already the individual boroughs are committed to the project.

Way-marked for quality

He wants to have way finding with a guarantee of quality. If it is waymarked you can be sure of the quality of the route to ride or push a double buggy.
He asked that planners imagine a competent 12 year old cyclist, that is who they should be aiming junctions at. If they or the child’s parent could be confident in them using that junction then it was good enough.
Greater Manchester is planning to create 144 new or upgraded crossings, 26 miles of new routes and 9 miles of Dutch style segregated cycle routes.

Not just for Cycle Cities but Countrywide

Overall I thought it was a very positive and encouraging meeting. If other cities can take on this idea of looking at where routes are blocked or cut off and improving these connections then a better network for cycling and walking could be created countrywide.

Active travel in London with Portcullis House in the background

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Preparing to Ride your Electric Bike in Winter

The weather has been mild so far this winter, and autumn seems to be stretching all the way to Christmas, but it still makes sense to be prepared.

When we think about riding in winter we often think about snow and icy roads, but it can be the rain and the wet roads that are around for the longest.

Check over your e-Bike

Now is a good time to give your bike a good check over to make sure that the lights, brakes and gears are all working. Most of the bikes in the Batribike range come with mudguards to protect you from the worst of the road spray, check they are properly aligned so that they are working efficiently. Make sure that your tyres are in good condition and are inflated correctly. Under inflation can reduce the efficiency of your electric system. If you are unsure, you can take your bike into your local Batribike dealer for a service.

Riding in the Rain

You can ride your Batribike electric bike in the rain, the components are protected from water spray. However you should not ride through deep water or jet wash your bike, which could force water into connections. Remember that it takes longer to stop in the wet and that puddles can often hide a nasty pothole.

Look after your Battery

Looking after the battery is a key part of owning an e-Bike. If temperatures drop below 0° you should remove your battery when you are parking or storing your bike. The battery will work more efficiently if you store it at room temperature and just fit it to your bike while riding. This applies to charging the battery as well. Check your manual for full instructions.

What to Wear

Protect yourself too! Make sure that you have some protective clothing such as waterproofs and warm gloves. It will make the journey much more enjoyable.

Be safe – be seen! Wear something bright and or reflective, you may need to use your bike lights even in the daylight on more dismal days.

For those of you who prefer to pack your bike away for the winter, make sure that your e-Bike is clean and dry before you put it to bed. Do not leave the battery in a storage area that will drop to freezing over the winter. It is best to remove the battery and put it somewhere where it can remain at room temperature. Ensure your battery is charged and don’t forget to charge it over the winter even if you are not using it.

It’s all common sense really, enjoy your riding, be prepared and stay safe!

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Sunshine and Photography

A couple of weeks ago we were out on a photo shoot in Mid-Essex in glorious sunshine. Our first stop was Thorndon Park, Brentwood. There are some lovely cycle trails here and a forest type feel to some of the areas.

BATRIBIKE ALPHA | Shimano hydraulic disc brakes | 24 gears and suspension forks | Mudguards and lights included

The white Batribike Alpha looked gorgeous on this lovely wide trail. There were a few leaves on the ground and the dappled sunshine coming through the canopy.

BATRIBIKE DELTA | Hidden battery MTB | High quality Shimano brakes and gears | Lightweight and confident off-road

In contrast the Batribike Delta eMTB looks set for a great adventure against the ridged bark on this tree.

From Thorndon Park we headed through the villages towards Chelmsford. The Red Lion pub at Margaretting was such a great colour in the sunshine we just had to stop and take some pictures of the Quintessential.
BATRIBIKE QUINTESSENTIAL | Classic Style - Vintage looks | Hidden Battery in saddlebag | Basket included

The regulars inside were intrigued to see what was going on and came out to see us. It was great to be able to chat about electric bikes and how they worked. Everyone was amazed at the hidden battery in the saddlebag. The Landlady and Landlord came out to see why everyone was busy outside and couldn't resist having their photo taken with the bike.

BATRIBIKE QUINTESSENTIAL | Classic Style - Vintage looks | Hidden Battery in saddlebag | Basket included

Finally we headed to an iconic Chelmsford landmark, Hylands House for a last couple of pictures with the Omega and Perdu step-through style bikes.

BATRIBIKE OMEGA | Lightest in class | Low seat position, suits the shorter rider | Easy to use with 7 speed hub gears | BATRIBIKE PERDU | Hidden Battery and Wheel Lock - use same key | Suspension forks and seat post | Easy Adjust handlebars

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Cycle Show 2018

The Cycle Show has come and gone for another year. As always it is a busy time for us. When we are waiting for the doors to open on the very first day it is lovely to see our stand looking smart with shiny bikes.

Steve, Jesper and Jørgen waiting for the show to start on day one

This year there seemed to be a few less exhibitors in the electric bike area, some of the cheaper Chinese offerings were conspicuously absent. The Batribike range is built in Europe using Danish design and offers what we believe is an industry leading warranty, customers really appreciated the quality of our components and our competitive prices.

The first day of the show is trade day and we were busy all day on the Batribike stand, talking to existing and new dealers. It is great when professionals in the industry love our bikes too. Today – back from the show - we are busy adding all the new locations to the “where to buy a Batribike” map on the website.

The show was open to the public from Friday morning and our test ride area bikes were busy straight away. With comments like “smooth”, “comfortable” and “easy to ride” coming from the riders we were more than happy with the impact the Batribike range was having.

It is not often that we have something so new on the stand that we don't even have an info tag for it. When the guys came from Denmark for the show they brought with them our brand new filing electric bike - the Dart - it will be available in the Spring with a ticket price from £999. The styling and the black and white paint finish certainly caught the eye of a lot of show goers. Look out for it on our website early in 2019.

I do enjoy working at shows like this, it is so nice when existing customers come back to see us and tell us where they have been on their bicycles, we know that Batribike is part of their journey and their leisure time.

She just couldn't resist stopping to take a picture of the stylish Quintessential
All too soon the show is over and it is time to pack up. When visitors come into the halls and see all the lovely stands they could be forgiven for thinking that it always looks like that. The reality is that when we arrive, and when we leave, the hall is completely empty. We bring our complete stand with us packed up in a van, which is why we are so proud to see it looking lovely at the start of the show. It takes just over 10 hours to set it all up and a mere 3 and a half hours to take it all down and pack it back in the vans – until the next show…

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Ride London Reduces City’s Air Pollution

The two-day Ride London event last weekend helped to produce compelling evidence to show how reducing polluting vehicles can help us to breathe clean air.

BikeBiz the cycle industry trade community has published a graph produced by Professor Jo Wood at City University London. The data has been collected from Putney where there are only bicycles during the event. The red line on the graph clearly shows a drop in harmful gasses. The data has been collected over the years 2013 to 2018 and illustrates the same drop every year when the event is on.

Graph by Jo Wood with data from LondonAir.org.uk
Last year there was similar data collected when Newcastle closed roads for a family cycling event.

In April this year The Evening Standard reported an 89% drop in air pollution during the London marathon. Data to support this was collected at an air quality station monitored by Kings College London. Over a 12 hour period 7am to 7pm experts found air quality along Upper Thames improved by almost nine tenths.

Efforts are being made countrywide to improve Cycling Infrastructure and to encourage people to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport.

Electric bikes can go a long way to helping people to make the transition to less polluting transport. The ease of use and the opportunities to carry cargo make ebikes the transport solution for all our futures.

Batribike Quintessential electric bike

Friday, 8 June 2018

Parliamentary Bike Ride 2018

We were delighted to be invited to join MP’s, Peers and Cycle Industry leaders and decision makers for the Parliamentary bike ride on Wednesday. The ride marks the launch of Bike Week and started at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in London.

Riders gathered at the Embassy from 8.00am for breakfast and speeches.

The MC this year was Jeremy Vine, broadcaster and cycling advocate. He cycles to work but said that cycling in our cities needs to be safer so that everyone, young or old can enjoy the benefits of cycling. He said that cycling had made it possible for him to eat cake without worrying about the consequences – I definitely like his sentiment, bring on the cake!

Tessel Van Essen Senior Commercial Attache at Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands welcomed everybody to the event.

Ruth Cadbury, MP and Co-Chair of the APPCG said that she was a recent convert to electric bikes. She believes that they will make a difference to transport issues in cities and reiterated they were ideal for Destination Clothing.

Paul Tuohy, CEO of Cycling UK, said that Bike Week aims to get 0.5 million people to think about using a bike. He said that 27M people have access to a bike yet only 800,000 people cycle to work.

Jesse Norman, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport said that cycling is good for air quality and community. He is trying to make a difference on cycling and walking.

With the speeches out of the way it was time for the bike ride. There was quite a crowd of bikes and cyclists in the front courtyard of the embassy. We made our way over the road to Hyde Park and gathered up on the steps of the Albert Memorial for pictures. I had driven part way into London and parked outside of the congestion zone.

I had the Batribike Sigma folded in the boot of the car. It had been easy to get it out and ride down to the embassy.

And then we were off – the best part of the day – everyone was chatting as they rode. The sun was shining and there was a general feeling of how great it is to be out on a bike. I have been to this event several times over the years and this seemed to be the biggest crowd I had seen.

The route was mostly on cycle paths and it was quite something to see so many riders in “destination clothing” riding round in front of Buckingham Palace. We rode on past several landmarks to the Palace of Westminster and went in by the House of Lords entrance. Bikes were parked and security negotiated.

We headed in and attended a short Q & A session with Jesse Norman.

It is always an interesting event to attend because you don’t know who you will be talking to on the ride and you get to hear different perspectives on cycling and the way forward on infrastructure.

The event was over for another year and it was time to return to the car.

Round Parliament Square and down to Birdcage Walk. Birdcage Walk had been closed to traffic, but after a quick check with a friendly Police Officer – the Cycle Path was still open – when we had come down here earlier the road had been filled with cars, busses and taxis. Now it was strangely quiet as I rode along.

When I got to the end and arrived at Constitution Hill I could see why. It was the changing of the guard and all the roads were closed. Crowds of tourists behind the barriers, and just me, a lone cyclist, on a Batribike Sigma, riding round the Victoria monument. I felt the urge to wave to the crowds but managed to resist!

From there it was back to Hyde park and a glorious ride next to the carriageway. The gardens were looking good as I stopped to take some pictures.

It had been a day of cycling contrasts, crowds of packed together cyclists waiting at traffic lights, and then, me cycling on my own! Brilliant.