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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

All Change – But Still The Same!

Changes to the Batribike team – but not to how we work and what we do.

There has been quite a bit going on in the Batribike office recently. It is one of those times when you know that stuff is happening but you can’t say anything about it until it actually happens! There is that air of suppressed excitement, tinged with fear that you might accidentally let the cat out of the bag!

Whilst most people know us as Batribike our business name has always been Fallowgate Ltd but 2018 has brought some changes. We have been working with Danish company Pro-Movec for almost two years. They supply the electrics that are fitted to our ebikes at the manufacturing stage. But now we have formed a new company, Batribike Ltd with Jesper Lundquist the CEO of Pro-Movec.

Steve Coulson Managing Director, Batribike Ltd and Jesper Lundquist CEO, Pro-Movec
The team at Batribike here in rural Lincolnshire stays the same, and the way we work and our bikes stay the same, but this strong new connection brings more ‘clout’ when it comes to manufacturing. All the factories in Europe are busy. The electric bike revolution and increase in sales means that it is becoming harder to get time in the factories. An alliance like this brings more buying power and ensures that we have the best quality and we can maintain a good flow of stock.

Just like us, Pro-Movec has over ten years experience in the electric bike industry. We have similar values and a total commitment to, and love of, electric bikes. The new partnership also means that we have increased access to all the latest smart developments in ebike technology. For Pro-Movec there are benefits too. We are committed to using their excellent electric system here in the UK.

The Pro-Movec electric system has industry leading warranties on the motors and ground breaking transferrable warranties - up to 5 years on batteries. This gives value in second hand electric bikes, an area where there has previously been no consumer confidence.

Batribike electric bikes will still be fitted with the Datatag Stealth Pro cycle security marking system. We are the first and only UK manufacturer to fit this to all of our bikes. We also offer a one-month free electric bike insurance backed by Lexham Insurance one of the country’s leading 2-wheeled insurance brokers.

With all this bubbling along under the surface you can see how excited we have been to make the announcement and we are looking forward to a very promising 2018.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Bletchley Park Bikes

I was lucky enough to go to Bletchley Park on Saturday. It probably wasn't the best weather to be there, snow and ice on the ground and freezing rain coming from the sky!

I didn't really know what to expect, but it probably wasn't lots of wooden huts. In some ways the weather being bad showed just what conditions were like when all those people were working at what was the forefront of technology.

They were working not just on codebreaking and the Enigma machine but were really at the start of computing. The very first computer was here, although it was so secret no one knew about it for years!

It is from these seedlings of technology, using valves and miles of wires that computing as we know it today grew. It might seem a very random connection to electric bikes, but once these ideas took hold, then we could progress to printed circuit boards, smaller components and all the technology that goes into making an electric bike work.

In stark contrast to the cutting edge work they were doing, the transport for those workers was bicycle, at that time there was no fuel for car trips for leisure. Alongside all the other equipment on show at Bletchley Park there is a whole bike shed of lovely vintage bicycles.

With our 20th century love for all things car causing congestion and poor air quality, the 21st century is bringing us back to the bicycle, but now with all the benefits that technology can bring.

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.