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Friday, 20 December 2013

Full speed ahead for 2014

What a fantastic year it has been for Batribike. Our dealer base has grown from strength to strength and we have been lucky enough to have been involved in some really interesting projects.

The electric bike events at The Eden Project, in Bristol and Great Yarmouth really spread the message about how enabling these vehicles can be.

The All Party Parliamentary Cycle Ride from the Dutch Embassy to Westminster was all about cycling too. Then, to be part of RideLondon and to cycle the eight-mile route as the streets of London were closed for the first time for this type of public cycling event was so exciting.

Of course the airing of the BBC TV programme The Apprentice must be top of the list. The publicity that it generated, not just for Batribike but for electric bikes in general was phenomenal.

Looking forward to 2014 we have brand new dealers, So Many Bikes based in Oldham, starting with us straight after the New Year.

The National Trust at Fountains Abbey has just taken delivery of a Batribike Trike. This will be used for the site manager to get about on. The existing truck that they had been using was too large for some of the walkways and was meaning that visitors had to get off the path to let it through. When the team from Batribike was there yesterday there was huge excitement with everyone wanting to have a ride on the Trike.

Here's looking forward to lots more exciting blogs to come in 2014.

Wishing all my blog readers a Happy Christmas.

Santa's all fired up for an electric bike ride
A Christmas Robin endorses the Dash




Friday, 13 December 2013

Out and About in the West Country

I have been down to the West Country where we have the Batribike electric folding bike bag specially made for us. We really should shout about it more, but, yes, the bag is “Made in England” from a tough PU coated material. A heavy duty double ended zip runs round three sides of the bag making it very easy to get your folded bike in and out of the bag.

I spent three days down in the Devon and Cornwall area. It was good to call in on some of our dealers and to renew some other contacts.

The weather was really variable with beautiful sunshine when I took a break at the stunning Topsham Quay.




I also went across the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall although the weather was dull and overcast I stopped to take pictures. I have a soft spot for the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel and so really couldn’t resist the opportunity to snap away even though my vantage point wasn’t the best.




Travelling home on Wednesday started out lovely but by early afternoon the fog had closed in and the traffic slowed. All in all a good few days 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Electric Bikes Living(ston) it up in Scotland

Batribike dealer Easygo electric bikes recently had a two day demo event in the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Livingston. The bikes really were the star of the show with visitors to the premier shopping outlet over the weekend.

Easygo Electric Bikes Ltd owner Gordon Cullen was "delighted with the response" from the Christmas shoppers.

Easygo have another promotion scheduled for the coming weekend at the Linlithgow Advent Fayre.

For details on how to buy a Batribike in this area contact Easygo

All set up before the centre opens



Thursday, 21 November 2013

Out and About Again

Yesterday I was off out in my trusty van again. The weather on Tuesday had been fantastic and I was really hoping for the same again. Unfortunately it was not to be, as I headed out at 7.30 it was drizzling.

It was going to be a longer day as I was heading over to the south west coast, and I wanted to get a head start going north around the M25. As always it was a complete car park and the rain and spray were not helping the situation at all. Traffic info on the radio was telling me of breakdowns, accidents and closures but luckily my satnav was on top of the situation and diverted me round.

By the time I arrived at my destination the rain had stopped. It was still decidedly chilly but with warm gear and gloves on I had a lot of happy riders putting the bikes through their paces.

Then it was time for a late lunch and I couldn't resist the draw of the sea. A slight diversion had me parked up in the sunshine! and enjoying my sandwiches. The wind was still really brisk but the view was excellent.


Then it was time for the return journey. Motorway closures again! but with a tricky diversion through the villages I was back on track again and home by 8.30. A long drive but the lovely view was definitely worth it.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Sun Shone

I have been out and about today in the South East and what a glorious day it was. Amazingly even the M25 was kind to me this morning and as I drove over the QE2 bridge at Dartford the view up the Thames towards the City was superb.

Further out the Kent countryside was bathed in brilliant sunshine - I'm not saying it was warm because there was a definite chill to the wind - but safely ensconced in the warmth of the Batribike van it was strange to hear the radio reports of snow in some parts of the UK.

The tree colours looked spectacular as I came over the motorway hill the whole scene was full of reds, browns and yellows. It seems that all the best scenes that you really want to take a picture of are always when you have nowhere to stop!

I just managed one snap of some trees when I stopped. I am out and about again tomorrow so I am hoping that it is another gorgeous day.


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Customer Feedback at the NEC

The first day of the Motorhome Show at the NEC was very busy yesterday. It was lovely to see past customers and talk to so many new ones too.

One lady waited for a space between enquiries and rushed in to tell me "I have a one of your bikes, a Diamond, I have had it two years and absolutely love it, I love my bike!"
Monday evening all set ready for the visitors

Monday, 23 September 2013

C2C by Batribike. 1 Dash, 1 Granite and two old men.

Recently one of our dealers, Jeff at Electric Dragon Cycles, completed the C2C cycle route. The route is coast to coast from the Lake District in the west to the east coast at Sunderland. He has written a lovely report which I felt sure everyone would love to read.


Day one: Sunday 15/09/2013 Workington to (Keswick) Penrith. (Gradient difficulty, tough)

Our magnificent support team of my wife Fiona and our son Keith drove us to the starting point after a pleasant nights stay B&B in Cockermouth. The intention had been to have had a nice meal out the night before but the whole of Cockermouth's restaurants were fully booked, so we had had fish and chips sitting outside on a bench.

The arrival at Workington was epic. We did not bother with dipping our wheels in the Irish sea mainly from fear of being swept to our deaths, but anyway there seemed to be enough of it crashing over us in the gale force wind. Luckily any salt was washed off by the rain coming down, or more accurately horizontally in stair rods.


Mounting our trusty steeds we set off at a cracking pace, unfortunately in the wrong direction. We blame the lack of signs which were very poor compared to the rest of the route! Luckily we were prepared and went to get our guide book and satnav out. Due to the wind, rain and failing eyesight, made worse by the inability to see through our glasses, we abandoned these and looked for someone to ask. Workington appeared to be closed. We eventually found an ambulance station and were pointed back in the right direction after a northerly detour.

We rejoined the C2C route at Cockermouth. The rest of the ride went pretty much like the start, we were soaked to the skin from about ten minutes in to the ride, but warm enough with the effort. The route we took went up the lengthy climb to Wythop Woods. This off road route would be ideal for mountain bikes but in the torrential wind and rain coming down the very steep rocky paths it was more like gorge scrambling than cycling. Did I mention we got lost again? The route then became slightly easier as we headed past the lake to Keswick.

At Keswick we met our back up crew in a car park. By the time we were sat in the truck, soaked, with the rain still hammering down, we decided to just to load the bikes and drive to our B&B at Penrith. At the Penrith B&B we were able to put our bikes in a nice dry garage, all our wet gear was dried for us. A nice meal out in town and a drink in the local pub and we were fired up for the next day's adventure, full of youthful exuberance. (I am about to be 60 my brother Mike is about to be 70)

Day two: Monday 16/09/2013 Penrith to Nenthead. (Gradient difficulty, very tough)

With wind and rain forecast again we were pleased that the day started out dull but dry. We set off up the steep climb out of Penrith with the E-bikes earning their living.



We had just got onto the flat section when I noticed a sign saying 'Good Luck Jeff and Mike'. That's a coincidence I thought, that's our names! Looking up at the faces of the two smiling ladies holding this beautifully decorated sign I recognised the two sisters of my neighbour in Wales, June and Florence, who both live in Penrith. We stopped, chatted, took some photo's and went off smiling.

The ride on day two was very different to the first day. Although the route difficulty is described as 'very tough' we stayed dry and managed the huge lengthy climb up to Hartside Summit well. My brother Mike on the little Dash just sat down and kept on riding. Myself on the Granite LCD had to do a fair bit of zigzagging and dancing on the pedals to keep going up the really steep parts, but we both made it to the cafe at the top where we met up with our trusty support crew. It was so windy and rainy at the top we struggled to find a place to stand the bikes up and were glad to get inside the cafe. Once inside we huddled round our hot drinks because it wasn't that much warmer inside than out.



Once off again we had a brilliant fast descent to Alston. Both bikes coped very well at high speed on the wet roads. The rest of the ride was very steep but progressing well until 4.2 miles from our destination for the day and Mike's Dash ran out of battery power! Now I knew why going up Hartside had looked so easy for him. I had been trying my best to conserve power! Luckily it was mainly downhill from where his battery went, Mike says the 4 miles were OK but the 0.2 of a mile was like riding with his brakes on compared to having the motor assist up the climbs!

We were booked in B&B at the Miners arms in Nenthead. Once again we were offered a garage for the bikes and great accommodation. We abandoned a walk around the village that evening as it was freezing cold and raining. We decided on a nice meal and a drink in the pub instead.

Day three: Tuesday 17/09/2013 Nenthead to Consett (Gradient difficulty very tough)

The day started cold and dull with rain forecast. It also started with a climb up to the highest point on the C2C, Black Hill. Despite all this it was great and the scenery spectacular if somewhat bleak. After another fantastic descent past old abandoned mines and isolated buildings you cross over the borders with Northumberland and County Durham on this route. I don't think we saw a soul until we rolled into Rookhope for our planned lunchstop with the crew. Even after climbing over the two highest points we arrived well ahead of schedule so had a lengthy coffee break in the truck, reading the papers so we would not be too early arriving at our next B&B.

On setting off we found the main route closed due to grouse shooting so had to take the alternative road route via Stanhope. This meant more descending but resulted in another huge long and hard climb up to the cafe at the top off the Waskerley Way. When we arrived at the cafe at first sight it looked like a major crime scene. Police cars and men everywhere. Turns out they were filming an episode of 'Vera' an ITV police drama.

A nice coffee and our first chat on the trip with fellow cyclists and we set off the long steady decent down the Waskerley Way. The weather was brightening, it was downhill all the way to our Bee Cottage B&B and the scenery great. This was more like it.

That evening we decided to go into Consett for a meal. We drove in and circumnavigated the town twice. We had all but given up hope of finding anywhere when we asked a passing local who pointed us to a lovely Italian restaurant. A good end to a good day.

Day four: Wednesday 18/09/2013 Consett to Sunderland (Gradient difficulty, easy)

The day dawned bright and with a clear sky. We had our breakfast chatting to a couple who were also completing the C2C. They had set off a day earlier than us and showed us just how much better prepared they were by producing up-to-the-minute laminated maps and guidebook. I have had my now soggy guide book 15 years. They had also downloaded all the maps onto smartphones but unfortunately both phones had drowned on route.

The weather once outside was not as warm as it looked through the windows but it was great to be in sunshine. It was also the first time we had set off without top to toe waterproofs on.

The ride to Sunderland must have been 99% cycle route with fabulous bridges and sculptures to entertain you on route. It was also 90% gently downhill. It certainly was not particularly fast as you shared the often winding cycle routes with walkers, dog walkers and for the first time lots of other cyclists, pretty much all going the other way.



The arrival in Sunderland was great, dropping down to the riverside quite early and hugging the coast until the finish. We met up with the crew and had curry and chips, an ice cream and a drink sitting in the sunshine. It was like a day out at the seaside.
The bikes were loaded up and we set off for the drive back home to Wales.

Conclusions

Despite missing the leg from Keswick to Penrith I consider the ride a success. Keswick to Penrith is an easy section that we could have completed if we had just kept pedalling but it would have been no fun at all for riders or crew. By the time we had sat in the truck for a few minutes after meeting up we were all starting to get very cold, so starting off again in the foul weather just seemed stupid.

Deciding to stay at B&B's was by far the best decision for completing the C2C. We had almost chosen to camp or use our caravan. Either would have been a nightmare with the weather conditions. All the B&B's were lovely and you started each day warm and well fuelled up.

The bikes were great. As a dealer for Batribike I could have chosen any of the range but was more than happy with the Granite. It was comfortable, reliable, felt safe and had the power and the range required. The Dash however was a revelation. My older brother with 10 years on me and less cycling experience seemed to cope with the huge climbs very well just sitting down and pedalling his way up. The Dash also coped with the off road sections if anything better than the Granite. Maybe the lower centre of gravity? I had deliberately left both bikes completely standard for the trip and this turned out to be no disadvantage at all. All we did was add panniers to the Granite and a rack bag to the Dash. At the end of the ride I was still comfortable sitting on the saddle and no real aches or pains except my back but it was like that when I started! I did wear cycling shorts under my trousers but other than that normal outdoor clothing.



I wonder if I would ever have got round to riding the C2C on a normal bike? Probably not. As I have said previously I had the guide for 15 years and only got round to organising the trip after getting an E-bike. I'm pretty sure my brother would feel the same if not more so!

The next plan is to work out a Trike friendly route squaring off Anglesey for Keith (Trike rider) and Fiona (big Dash fan) to ride and me to swap to a backup role.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Action Medical, Essex 100 Cycle Event

On Sunday I acted in a support capacity for the charity Cycle Event organised by Action Medical. I had not marshalled a cycle event before so it was with some trepidation that I turned up at the start at the unearthly hour of 06.15. The sky on the way there had been a magnificent shade of pink and I was hoping that it wasn’t the traditional warning of wet weather to come.

The start was at Gosfield School towards the north of Essex there was plenty of parking for the riders and there was a cycle surgery for that last minute fine-tuning. The day before I had emptied out the Batribike van so that I was ready to pick up any damaged bikes or any riders that could not complete the course. I was provided with some puncture repair items, drinking water for riders, a hi-vis vest, maps of the route and a lunch voucher.
Riders at the drinks station
My first “station” was the lunch venue at Great Leighs village hall where I was the first to arrive. Very soon though there were volunteers putting up flags and banners and setting out tables for drinks. Inside, a whole catering event was going on with a marvellous buffet set out for the riders (later on I nabbed a lovely piece of chocolate gateaux). One of the attending Red Cross ambulances parked up behind me and once all the riders had left the start the cycle workshop arrived to help with any further repairs.
The first riders arrive at Great Leighs
Most of the morning was very quiet and so I read my book, but then from 9.30 the first riders started to arrive. There were three routes the Champion -100 miles, The Classic – 66 miles and the Cool – 32 miles. The lunch stop was pretty much in the middle for all routes. By the end of the morning riders were flooding in and were sitting about on the grass in the sunshine enjoying the buffet provided.
More cyclists arrive
One of the other marshals came in with a bike that needed to go back to the start and one lady competitor decided that she couldn’t complete and asked for a lift back. So with the two bikes and a passenger on board I headed back to Gosfield.
Riders were directed to facilities by volunteers
A motorbike at the rear of the ride was reporting where the tail enders were and it was decided to send me out to Finchingfield to another feed station. I stayed there until the last riders had passed. I had picked up one other bike whose rider had gone to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

It was then time to de-sign the course, Ralph who was in another vehicle for the day arrived and we trundled along the remaining 15 miles of course removing all the signs. This was probably the most fun part of the day, hopping in and out and stacking the signs in the back of the van. Although most of the day wasn’t very exciting that is a good thing as it meant that nearly all of the 700 entrants were able to complete the course.

The riders that I spoke to said that they had a fantastic day and that the organisation and food facilities were excellent. They were looking forward to going back next year.

The day finished with another fantastic pink sky, the sun was setting as I drove home, a full and satisfying day for my first time as a marshal.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle

On Saturday, central London was closed to traffic so that thousands of cyclists of all ages could enjoy many of the iconic landmarks in the City. BEBA (The British Electric Bicycle Association) had organised a space in the Green Park Festival for a few members to demonstrate what electric bikes are all about. The Prudential RideLondon organisers were keen for us to be there and show how inclusive cycling can be.

For us it was an early start, the alarm went off at 3.30 am, we had to get our vehicle to Green Park before the roads were closed. It was dark as we headed into the City but as we came through the financial district the many tall buildings were lit up against the brightening sky.



When we reached the Tower of London, the turning point for cyclists later in the day, London’s newest tall building The Shard was right behind it as I snapped away through the windscreen. As we reached the top of The Mall they were just closing the street, but our logoed up Batribike van was our passport through.

With all our bikes unloaded and the van safely parked there was time to take some “tourist’ shots. I can see from the photo data that I was taking pictures of Buckingham Palace at 7.19 am. The sun was shining and due to the road closures there was no one about. I was feeling very privileged to be there. Next stop breakfast, and then we were ready for the crowds.


I was amazed how quickly we were busy. The cycle route opened at 9.00, but before that visitors had already begun to arrive at our marquee. Many were curious to see what electric bikes were all about and many more were truly interested in how electric motor assistance could change the way they use bicycles. For many they are a way to keep cycling when they can’t continue on an ordinary cycle.

I had hoped that I might be able to cycle the route even though I was really there to work! At about half past eleven I managed to sneak off with the Batribike Diamond test ride bike and headed out to The Mall. Visitors to the stand had told us that the route was busy but still I was astonished when I first saw the sheer number of cyclists on the road.

I exited Green Park via the big gates next to the Victoria Memorial and joined the throng. There were metal barriers along the side of the road to keep the pedestrians back, they were obviously enjoying the occasion too as they were hanging over the barrier to take pictures of all the cyclists. I stopped at the side to take a picture looking back towards Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial.

Further up there was a bit of a bottleneck. The tannoy system was advising everyone that they might have to put their feet down. We shuffled along at less than three miles an hour but no one complained; there was an air of excitement, a feeling of being present at an historic occasion. We shuffled on until we were nearly at Admiralty Arch and the crowds parted, we could cycle safely.


A short spurt and I was at Trafalgar Square and intrigued to see a sailing yacht. I have since found out that it is the flagship of the GB clipper race team the “Great Britain”. From there it was down on to the Embankment.


The diversity of cyclists was amazing, lycra clad racers mixed with families out for a gentle ride. Tiny tots with stabilisers rode beside vintage and novelty bikes, all were revelling in the atmosphere. Street bands playing a wide variety of music dotted the route and at each tunnel or bridge everyone rang their bells and whooped. I passed a man in period costume riding a miniature penny farthing, when he commented that he was “feeling the burn” I told him that I was riding electric. He was amazed, stating that he only understood steam!

After a wriggle out to St Pauls it was back to the river and on to the Tower where we looped round for the long waterside run to Westminster, down Birdcage Walk and back to Green Park. After a day in London it seems funny that these iconic names trip off the tongue so easily.

The Diamond LCD performed perfectly and I am really pleased that I was able to take part in the inaugural RideLondon.

At the end of the show at 5.00 all that remained was to pack up the bikes and wait for vehicle movements to be allowed. The sun was still shining as we headed off and I was still clicking away with the camera through the windscreen.

I see the event is already on the calendar for 9th August 2014, I certainly intend to be there.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Bewl Water Cycle Ride

We recently took the Diamond and Granite electric bikes on the 12.5 mile cycle route around Bewl reservoir. We were holidaying in Kent and took the opportunity to visit Bewl Water as we knew it had a cycle route that went all the way round.

There is a pay kiosk before you get to the car park and we duly paid our £4 each for bringing our own bikes. At the kiosk they gave us a map and some information leaflets. On reading that the round reservoir route is only suitable for mountain bikes I was a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to do it.

We parked up and looked at the bikes that the hire shop had available. They didn’t look too extreme but had some quite knobbly tyres. They didn’t appear to have any electric bikes for hire. I asked how muddy it was out on the track as it had rained the day before. Apparently it wasn’t too bad.

I had some bikes in the van as we were going to an event later in the week. I had however forgotten that I had been using a couple of them for demos the week before. When we got the Diamond LCD and the Granite LCD out I discovered that there were only two bars left on the Diamond battery. Not a problem, I was sure all would be fine.

We asked the chap next to us in the car park if he cycled there regularly and where did the route start. He asked if we were planning to ride the electric bikes, he was sure we would be fine but we would have to get off and push several sections were very steep.

We set off in an anti-clockwise direction following the signs in the car park. Unfortunately the route is not very well signed at all and we had to resort to the map on several occasions. Even going as far as to check our position on Google maps on the phone.

The first part of the track is through woods and is quite bumpy over tree roots. Once out into the open the route continues across grass and the views across the water are lovely. The weather was perfect for riding, not too hot but sunny.


The whole circuit has varied terrain, earth tracks, grass, cinder track and some road work (the roads were country lanes and we only saw one car) The ground conditions were fine for our bikes with no problems at all, although I suspect it could be quite muddy if there has been a lot of rain.

I did indeed walk up one short hill, but that wasn’t because the bike wouldn’t have made it. If I had been riding at the start of the hill I would have sailed up. Unfortunately there was a gate at the bottom that I dismounted to open. I decided to walk up and used the throttle option on the bike. This meant that the bike pulled itself up the hill as I walked beside it. Ralph waited for me at the top.


I also pushed it down one incline, it had been reinforced with wooden blocks, presumably to stop it being washed away, so it was more like steps.

There were several sections where there were views across the water, there were loads of sailing boats when we were there and a very picturesque oast house on one bank.


Returning to the start I still had two bars on the battery and had had a very enjoyable ride, the odometer showed that we had done fourteen miles. I used level one predominantly – I didn’t want to go too fast on the bumpy grass sections. Level two on a couple of the inclines and level three on the hilly road part. I never needed levels four or five.



It was a great test for the Diamond and Granite electric bikes and a lovely day out. I had loads of envious glances from some of the people who had hired ordinary bikes and had to get off and push as soon as they saw a hill.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Dash wows the whole Apprentice team

We have been avid watchers of the BBC's Apprentice programme this year - for obvious reasons. Tonights final was no exception as we rooted for Luisa who loved our electric bike the Dash when she saw it in episode seven.

Tonight though the Dash gained a new champion in Nick, who was heard to say "I quite like the idea of one of these things" as he whizzed along. He was captured by the film crew riding the Dash in the corridor of the hotel in Birmingham where filming had been taking place.

Nick Hewer riding the Batribike Dash electric bike

Nick riding the Dash with the BBC's 'humerous' additional helmet and googles
"I quite like the idea of one of these"



Monday, 15 July 2013

Electric bikes are hot topic in Staffordshire

The lovely weather certainly brought out crowds of bike fans yesterday. Electric bikes were the hot topic for conversation for the Services as well as commuters and leisure riders.

Stoke on Trent is quite a long way for me and we had to be there at 7.30 so my alarm went off at 3.30am which did seem totally bonkers! We were all set up ready for the day by 8.30 and by 9 o’clock the early crowds were starting to arrive.

Ralph from Batribike and Tim from eBikeShed before the show started
For us it was a different type of show as it is mostly motorbikes, but even so everyone was interested in two-wheeled riding. The show is free to visitors so many people look at it as a lovely family day out.

There were lots of arena events going on all day with stunt riding both on motorbikes and bicycles and a wall of death show which had the crowds enthralled all day.

Batribike electric bicycles were joined on the stand by local retail partner eBikeShed who are based very locally in Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent. There was loads of interest in the ebikes all day with test rides available straight from the stand. Once again the Dash proved very popular, its continued appearances on the Apprentice is keeping it very much in demand.

In particular the Police and St John Ambulance could really see the benefit of riding an electric bike. It certainly makes sense when you are carrying a lot of kit whether that is a defibrillator or body armour, electric motor assistance makes the load lighter.

Enjoying the power assistance!

St John Ambulance can really see the benefit of an electric bike

All in all we had a brilliant, if slightly warm day, but at least the heat gave us an excuse to eat ice cream!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Electric Bikes Wow at Sandringham

The Electric Bike Shop at Gorleston near Gt Yarmouth recently attended a Cycle Together event at Sandringham. The event was organised by the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity to raise funds for the Park House Hotel a respite holiday location for people with disabilities.

The Electric Bike Shop aka Electric Transport UK is a Batribike dealer. They were showing a range of Batribike ebikes and were delighted with the reception they received.


Group Captain David Cooper from RAF Marham thought the bikes were great!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Electric Bike Event in Bristol

We had a super day in Bristol yesterday. There we so many people interested in electric bikes we only had time to eat half our lunch!

It was an early start to the day leaving at 4.00 am - at least we stopped for breakfast on the way. We arrived on site just before eight and got everything set up for the day.


There were approximately twenty (I forgot to count) electric bike manufacturers with pop-up stands all set up in a long row. The riding area was paved and stretched along in front of the stands round the end of a water feature and then up and down slope in front of the town hall to a turning point and then back the same way.

It was good to have a slope so test riders could see how easily our bikes cope with hills. Once the show started we were really busy. There were many visitors who hadn't tried an electric bike before and they were all pleasantly surprised with the assistance and how easily it could be adjusted. Once again there was lots of interest in the Dash and several people who wanted to talk about "The Apprentice" experience.


All in all a good day, arriving back home at 10.00 pm, whew...


Friday, 14 June 2013

The Dash on The Apprentice has created more press photos!

I have just arrived back from a photo shoot with the local paper. They were interested in the Dash and my busy day on Wednesday.

The photographer wanted to get some shots of me riding the bike and chose a suitable location. Whilst I hung on to his cameras he had great fun riding up and down on the Dash. "What brilliant fun! I love it" he said.

So then down to business on the photo shoot. I had to ride up and down the road, smiling (which wasn't difficult as the aforementioned Dash is fun to ride) and avoiding cars, lorries and stray pedestrians.

Riding back from the photo shoot

It's all in a days work at the moment, our appearance on The Apprentice has certainly created a lot of interest in Batribike and electric bikes in general.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Batribike Dash Filming with The Apprentice

It was very exciting to see myself and the Batribike Dash on prime time BBC TV yesterday evening. It has also been brilliant to hear from lots of people today who saw the programme and really enjoyed it.

The whole process started way back in the mists of time …. The Motorhome and Caravan Show at the NEC is in October, so filming was some time ago. I spent a day filming with the teams in Birmingham where they were given the opportunity to choose from an array of different accessories. Once they had chosen the products they liked they could then “interview” the owners of those specific products.

Explaining the Batribike Dash to team Evolve
Both teams loved the idea of an electric bike and the Dash in particular, so both teams interviewed me. One friend today has asked me “was it scripted or were you given a brief?” The answer to that is No! I was allowed to answer questions in the way that I wanted, just like any business meeting.

Meanwhile Ralph was busy working his socks off at the show. The NEC show runs from Tuesday to Sunday. We had a large stand showing the full range of our bikes and we had  both our folding bikes – the Dash and the Breeze available to take away on the day. So ralph had his work cut out manning the stand on his own all day – while I went “swanning off to become a TV superstar”

Team Evolve showed great enthusiasm
After the interview with the two teams I was asked to choose which team I would like to sell the Dash bike. I chose team Evolve because they clearly had so much more enthusiasm for the bike.

"Pop-up" stand at the NEC Motorhome Show
The next day the teams set up pop-up stands at the show to sell, sell, sell! I was back on our stand so we didn’t get any chance to see how they were doing all day.

Just this Monday Ralph and I went to London to see a preview of the show. This was the first time we had seen it or had any idea how it would turn out. We were delighted to see that the team that I had chosen – Evolve, were the ones that won the task.

Today the response to the show has been tremendous with friends and acquaintances across the industry emailing congratulations. Tomorrow I am off on a photo shoot with the local paper too! I am making the most of my short lived fame, next week it will back to business as usual.

See the website news item for more about the Batribike Dash on The Apprentice.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

London Cycle ride marks the start of Bike Week

Today I have been to London to join the All Party Parliamentary Cycle Ride which marks the start of Bike Week. I was there as part of a group representing BEBA the British Electric Bicycle Association. It’s all about promoting cycling, and in our case promoting electric cycling.

The event started at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands situated next to Hyde Park. I had to be there at 8.00 for breakfast and talks and then the ride was to start at 9.00. I decided that the best plan was to drive up from Essex in the car with the conveniently folded Dash in the boot, park outside the congestion charging zone and ride in. The 44 mile journey was supposed to take an hour and a half according to the AA route planner, but with morning traffic to take into account I decided to give myself two hours, which was just as well, as I arrived at 8.00. The journey was pretty uneventful apart from passing some high spirited cavalry horses in the last mile.

The Embassy was very welcoming and all attendees were presented with a bright orange rucksack which proclaimed “Love Cycling, Go Dutch”. 


After the speeches we headed out into Hyde Park to group up. 



The event was headed by a rider from the MET Police Cycle Team. He told us that we must obey the rules of the road and stop at red traffic lights, which is how it should be. I think they had a tough time keeping such a big group marshalled but they worked well as a team and the ride went well. 

At one point a Range Rover driver was getting a bit impatient and trying to cut into the group at some traffic lights, but the policeman just had to point to his shoulder badge and the driver thought better of it.



There were lots of different people on the ride including many from the Dutch Embassy, three of them were riding wooden framed bikes.


The Ambassador, Ms Laetitia van den Assum also joined the ride. At one point she pulled alongside me and asked about my bike. I explained that it was an electric bike and that you could select different levels of assistance depending upon the terrain. She told me that electric bikes were very popular in Holland.

It was a superb ride taking in so many iconic sights of the City. We rode down Constitution Hill, past Buckingham Palace and along Birdcage Walk to the Palace of Westminster where we congregated on the green opposite Black Rods Garden.








The Batribike Dash stood out from the crowd on the green
After a photo call everyone dispersed. The electric bikes intrigued Rags Martel, a reporter from the ITV news who had been doing a piece on the event. When he had finished the story on the ride he hopped on the Dash had had a quick ride around the green. When he returned he had that “electric bike grin” on his face.





It was then time to ride back to the car. Going back up Birdcage Walk a troop of mounted Horseguards were coming the other way in the sunshine, and then when I got to Buckingham Palace they were changing the guard and the band was about to play – I couldn’t have timed it better.

Back to the car and I set the TomTom for home. It took me on a magical mystery tour avoiding the congestion zone again. I drove a long the Thames Embankment, more iconic views. I could see Battersea Power Station’s unique shape, then across Vauxhall Bridge. Wiggling my way across the south side of the river I then had to cross back via Tower Bridge with an excellent view of the Tower of London. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit I still get that excited feeling when I see all these great landmarks. From there it was a short hop to the Elephant and Castle with a view of the Shard and via the Limehouse Tunnel to Docklands where I could see the bright yellow gantry sticking up from the O2.

What an excellent day out!