Electric bikes are ‘in’ at the NEC Motorhome & Caravan Show 2012 in Birmingham this week – I spotted crowds gathering round all three of the stands at the edges of Halls 6, 7 and 7.
I had a good chat with Sue and Ralph Coulson (pictured below) of Batribike, who were launching their new bike, Dash, at the show (£949, 22.5kg, holds a rider who is up to 18 stone 10lbs in weight, does 24 miles with no pedalling, or up to 60 miles Pedal Assist).
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Six years ago, they got together with family members Steve and Jackie Coulson, who own a campsite, and designed and developed their own electric bikes, because they weren’t happy with the ones on the market in Britain. They have them made to their own design and have special bike bags made in Cornwall, so you can fold the bike up into the bag, to keep your motorhome mud-free! The bikes are so popular that this family business now has 50 dealers round the country.
Ralph assured me that you can charge the bikes up even when you’re on electric hook-up and I can think of loads of lovely campsites down narrow country lanes, where it would be ideal to park the motorhome and go off exploring – or down the pub – by bike.
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You can actually have a go on the ‘Electrobikes’ offered by AS Bikes of Coventry, because they’ve got an indoor bike trial area at the edge of Hall 7, as well as a stand near it. They’ll guide you through it!
Near here is another electric bike stand, Powered Bicycles, in Hall 6. This Nottingham-based business is run by bike enthusiasts and they say they’ve been importing powered bikes for the longest.
Going uphill may not be such a struggle with one of these things!
Kate Taylor, Practical Motorhome