Posts Tagged ‘cycling’


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Dorset Energized at the Eden Holistic Fair

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
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Eden Holistic Fair

On Saturday just gone (4th October) Dorset Energized along with our friends from Cyclelife Wessex attended the Holistic Fair, organised by Primrose Matheson of Primrose`s Kitchen, at Eden Park, Buckland Newton, Dorset – and what an enjoyable, and well organised event it was.

View from Eden Park

View from Eden Park

Holistic being a description of how all things are interconnected there were a wide variety of exhibitors at the Fair. People offering meditation and retreat, technology to prevent harm from electro-magnetic radiation, herbal remedies and massages, organic vegetables, scented soaps and essential oils (wonderful aroma`s from that stall), Compassion toward animals (our friends Compassionate Dorset), organic hot food, Homeopathy, organic Tea, and of course Primrose Kitchen`s naturopathic mueslis and food supplements. And not to forget Teatonics who came to the rescue with some of their lovely and remarkably restorative Yerba Mate tea when I arrived somewhat damp from the cycle ride there in the rain.

Ourselves from Dorset Energized and Cyclelife Wessex were of course there to talk renewable energy and all things environmental and to demonstrate the fun and practicality of riding electric bikes. Our side of the Holistic “coin”, being that (and this is my own take on it) the Earth, this planet, also has a mind, a body and indeed a spirit – and being friends with the Earth (in all it`s aspects) is essential and actually makes you feel good as well. After all if we neglect the Earth and do not treat it as our Friend then we alienate ourselves and in practical terms endanger our own long term survival. Which of course is the whole point of Wholism and being Holistic (it`s all connected . . . .).

So during the day Jeremy Molger – from Cyclelife Wessex – gave a number of people the opportunity to ride an Ebike and without exception everyone who took a test ride came back full of enthusiasm – that`s the effect they have, though you have to try one to know.  Indeed our very own resident Illustrator Stu Jones (who shot the photos here) took an e-bike for a test run around the beautiful rolling countryside that the new Eden Business Park is surrounded by, and said it was brilliant and that he was really surprised how well it worked and how easy it was to use and to go up hills! Meanwhile myself, Vince Adams and Keith Wheaton-Green talked a lot about Ebikes – and other things renewable, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and made new friends. It was a good day – and eventually the sun came out, which at the end of proceedings made my and Keith`s cycle ride to our respective homes that much more enjoyable.

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince & Simon & Ebike

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes

Vince and Jeremy and Ebikes




Vince Adams says:
Cycling to boost Dorset economy

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
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Cycling to boost Dorset economy

I was walking through the Overcombe beach carpark when I saw this huge rusty container close to where another new cycle path is about to open, being renovated initially with paint to protect rusty patches.


Container for bicycle Store

Container for bicycle Store

I wondered what it was and met Jacqui who told me that it was all part of a new project combining a number of Dorset small business. The aim is to create holiday experiences for visitors who want to get out and see the area when on holiday near and around the Weymouth/Jurrassic coastal area.

The container will be the hub for bike rental and when finished fit snugly into the surrounding Lodmoor landscape. There will be kayak rental and tour Company and one or two other Companies involved when the scheme opens later this month.

Container interior

Container interior

Its a hell of an idea, tourism is down in the County and Jacqui believes that visitors will really respond to something different. The cycle path network will be second to none and there are a number of other ideas that could be included like electric bikes to help with the hills and even small electric cars with zero carbon emissions could be included.
Dorset Energized wishes them well and Jacqui has promised to let us know much more about the project as it swings into action, By the way the view across Lodmoor from the container is amazing as is the wildflower path leading from the carpark to the swings.​

Wild Flower Meadow - Lodmoor

Wild Flower Meadow – Lodmoor


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Ebike fun in the sun

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Ebike fun in the sun

Well I attended the Hazelbury Bryan cycling day organised by Keith Wheaton-Green`s son Myles and friends, Jeremy & Luke – as publicised here previously (see blog post just below)

I went along to assist and take part – cycling from my home in Milton Abbas on my Mojo (aka Bafang/8Fun) Mid-drive motor equipped mountain bike. The ride over was accomplished in good time – the electric motor taking most of the strain out of the steep hills on the way.

On arrival at Hazelbury Bryan I accompanied Keith as he brought down the ebike (loaned for the event by the Dorset Ebike Centre) to the Antelope Inn which was the centre of operations – and a very welcoming place it proved to be.

The event started slowly, but there was a lot of interest and discussion about ebikes – even my own was attracting some interest. Gradually the day began to take shape – a few people turning up to take a turn or two around the circuit on their bicycles. And I and Keith and some of those doing the cycle to Spain also began to do some circuits – Keith was using the time to put in some practice miles as were Jeremy & Luke.

After doing a few circuits I asked Luke`s father, a keen motorcyclist, if he`d like to try out my electric mountain bike (I`d been describing how it was converted to electric and he had become interested). Well he took up the offer and came back from the ride with the “ebike smile” – they have that effect. As the day progressed every now and then I`d notice my bike wasn`t there – and it was out being ridden by the new “convert” It had made.

Sometime after 3.00pm the band “Not Made in China” began to play – the Antelope`s landlord had kindly allowed them to set-up on the decking in the pub garden. And a rather good sound they made (using the amps & p.a. equipment provided by the band #Hashtag who played some good tunes after them).

After their set several of the “Not Made in China`s” took an interest in the Batribike (electric bike) that the Dorset Ebike Centre had lent. Initially a bit sceptical – as people so often are – one then another took the Batribike out for a circuit. Once the ground began to rise and the motor was engaged – light dawned and the point of the electric was realised & fun was had.

Batribike - Diamond

Batribike – Diamond

That`s the way it is with ebikes – once tried, most people realise why we ride electrified. Not everyone of course – but you have to try one (or two, or . . . . ) to really know.

The upshot is one of “Not Made in China” quite possibly asking me to fit an ebike kit to his bike and another quite seriously thinking of buying a ready made one – and maybe more to follow (though not necessarily from the band).

So from an Ebike point of view the day went well – but also the two supported charities Help for Heroes, & Canine Partners (who were well represented on the day) hopefully managed to raise much need funds during the event and hopefully more donations will follow (via the event website) when the cycle to Spain gets underway on the 8th June.

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • John Thraves comments:
    "Please contact, I have an ICE Sprint with a Mojo fitted by Tony Castles, photos available, plus two other trikes with Bionx fittings, I live in Wareham and am an amputee. John Thraves. "
    June 11, 2014 a 3:03 pm


Lets Get Energized says:
Sustrans Safer Streets Campaign

Category: Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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Sustrans Safer Streets Campaign

Cycling is of course a way to reduce car use and so assist the environment – with that in mind we`ve been publicizing and supporting the excellent Safer Streets Campaign organised by Sustrans – and as an indication of how proactive and responsive Sustrans are – here is the email they sent us following our efforts:

Thank you for your support so far for our Campaign for Safer Streets.

As a valued partner I thought it would be timely to update you regarding the campaign.

The launch was a key moment for us and we’ve had a great response so far.

Media coverage on the launch day included Good Morning Britain, The Times, Daily Telegraph, ITV, Sky, BBC Online, Metro, The Scotsman, MSN and as well as local print, online and broadcast and specialist press including, BikeRadar, Surveyor / Transport Network, The Ecologist and EdExec. There is lots more to come in weekly and monthly publications.

We’ve seen 1,861 emails sent to MPs, with 543 MPs having received at least one email. We will be focusing on this campaign action over the coming weeks and it would be great if we could encourage more people to email their MPs. Please do continue to tweet about the campaign:

Suggested tweet: We want to see a safer school run. Let’s make it happen @Sustrans #SafetoSchool

There are lots of activities and events planned for June including:

Bike to School Week 9 – 13 June – Bike to School Week is an opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic things schools have achieved throughout the UK to encourage cycling all year round, through events and activities to get more people switched on to the benefits of using their bikes for the school journey. Our ambition is that every child in the UK will benefit from the direct support of one of our officers, and every week will be a Bike to School Week. We will be providing more suggestions soon on how you can support the week.

Parliamentary Breakfast Meeting- Sustrans is holding a breakfast panel event in parliament on Thursday 19 June, 8.40 – 10.30am on delivering a safe route to school for every child. This event is linked to our Campaign for Safer Streets and is an opportunity for both highlighting the campaign with parliamentarians and discussing how our vision of a safe journey can be delivered.

I’ll be back in touch in early June with further information regarding the above.

Best wishes


Rachel Bromley
Policy Communications Co-ordinator

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  • vince adams comments:
    "This is an amazing campaign and opportunity to focus even more attention on local cycling.
    Give your children a chance to take back the Streets with biking to school, they will become fitter and grow their own self confidence overnight. "

    May 24, 2014 a 8:41 am


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
A Haibike ride

Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
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A Haibike ride

Sometimes love at first sight happens – sometimes the reality does not match that first sight.

Well I experienced something today that brought such things to mind.

I`d gone, with a Dorset Energized colleague (Keith Wheaton-Green) to visit the Dorset Ebike Centre. Keith has been getting Ebike curious and wanted to try one and learn more & also we wanted to talk to the Ebike Centre owner Peter Claxton about him bringing along some Ebikes to a charity cycle ride day in Hazelbury Bryan on the 1st of June (more on that soon).

So I arrived at the Ebike Centre thinking mostly about helping Keith get to grips with the Ebike experience – and then as we walked into the showroom I saw it:

Haibike Xduro FS

Haibike Xduro FS

Peter saw me looking at the bike, and broke off from talking to Keith to say it had just arrived and what a dream it was to ride. Brand new, just out of the box, I didn`t dare ask if I could sit on it leave alone take it for a proper ride – but Peter said do you want to take it for a spin. There was no chance I would say no – so I didn`t.

After a bit more chatting, with Keith learning some more about Ebikes, me and him went of for a ride – me on the Haibike Xduro FS and Keith on a Riese & Muller Ebike. Let`s put it this way – it was love at first sight (with the Haibike) confirmed in the first few minutes of the ride. I was meant to be advising Keith – but my answers to his (sensible) questions were from someone a little distracted by the sheer joy of riding that bike. Yes it has an electric motor (I`m used to that) – but it doesn`t ride like an Ebike at all. Once you`re moving it was as if I was riding a top end Mountain Bike and had the strength and fitness to make the most of such a bike (which I don`t – but the Bosch motor makes up the difference). With no discernible lag in the power supply from the motor and with no evidence, once underway, of this bike weighing more than a non electric bike, it was as if I was floating along the road. But of course this is a fully equipped mountain bike – quality suspension front and rear, high end gears, the whole shebang – so temptation overruled caution and at the first sight of a bridleway, well it had to be done, we went off road (I just hoped Peter wouldn`t mind – and phew he didn`t, it turned out).

Haibike Xduro FS - in it`s element

Haibike Xduro FS – in it`s element

I`ve ridden a lot of bridleways on bicycles, mostly on my own ebikes – and they cope quite well with the rougher surface, the motor providing the power to keep you going in the tricky bits. But this Haibike was doing more than coping – it was thriving, this was its element. Love blossomed further. Eventually we had to turn around and return to the showroom – though another detour was called for, just to extend the fun. But back we got – and I have to admit, I gushed rather, virtues of the Haibike, extolling (it had to be done, truly). Keith – returning to why we`d gone to the Dorset Ebike Centre – was rather impressed as well. He`s thinking of joining his son`s charity ride to Southern Spain and has been wondering about using an Ebike for the ride – and it might well happen. The Riese and Muller he was trying will soon be Vince Adam`s and if Keith can persuade him to lend it – well it could be on the way to Spain (carrying the Dorset Energized message). That bike, with it`s rack and practical mudguards and Nuvinci hub gear – well it would make an excellent long distance tourer, panniers on the rack and you`re away.

Riese & Muller Charger with rack

Riese & Muller Charger with rack

The Haibike though – well it probably wouldn`t be much good touring, no rack (and with full suspension, difficult to fit one), no mudguards, full nobblies for tyres – really not a tourer. But, most definitely a wonderful (and proper) Mountain Bike.

And hey – this Xduro FS is at the cheap end of the Haibike range (£2,850 I think Peter is selling them at) but unless you are a real expert mountain biker, then I cannot see why you would need (or be able to get the best out of), anything even more highly equipped.

If I had the money I`d buy it – for sure! If you want to, it`s here – Dorset Ebike Centre

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I took a demo ride 10 miles yesterday and loved it. Up huge Dorset Hills with ease on this groovy bike, great fun and now decision whether to buy , happy days "
    May 24, 2014 a 8:46 am


Theresa McManus says:
Take a breather… and get on your bike!

Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , ,

Pollution experts from MIT in Massachusetts estimate that combustion exhausts across the UK cause nearly 5,000 premature deaths each year. They also estimate that exhaust gases from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually.

Road accidents in 2010 accounted for 1,850 deaths. Lead author Steven Barrratt says “We estimate that the premature deaths [from air pollution] are costing the UK at least £6 billion a year, and perhaps as much as £60 billion.”
See for more details.

Canadian studies have shown that whilst this air pollution is bad for cyclists, drivers have higher respiratory problems than cyclists because of their higher exposure to volatile organic chemicals in vehicle exhaust.
“In stop-and-go traffic, [drivers] have more exposure than a cyclist who stays 15 feet or more from the tailpipes,” said Rebecca Serna, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a cycling advocacy group.

The health benefits of cycling still far outweigh the risks from air pollution and traffic collisions relative to car driving… so… get on your bicycle or electric bike!!!


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
My Route into Electric Cycling

Category: Electric Transport
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First steps

It was in 2000 that I first discovered Electric Bikes. I was living in Dorchester, having moved to town from Tolpuddle and living in a flat with no parking I had given up the car. But I was beginning to get bored with walking everywhere so thinking it would be fun I went out and bought myself a Dahon folding mountain bike from Halfords. It struck me though as I was riding the bike home from the shop that although my mind seemed to think I was fit enough to zoom along as I had when I was a teenager, my body was altogether less sure.

A week or so later, during lunchtime at work, I happened to be wandering around the internet and came across a cycling shop called Kinetics that sold kits to turn a bicycle into an electrically assisted machine. I was intrigued – perhaps this might help me. Trouble was the price for the kits was about 6 times what I’d payed for the mountain bike. It just seemed too much to pay – but one evening at home I noticed that Kinetics had a bulletin board on their site where people were selling things and lo and behold there was an electric bike kit for sale and at a decent price. I quickly contacted the vendor and we agreed the price and the cost of the postage and shortly the kit arrived.

The kit in question was manufactured by a German company called Heinzmann and it seemed the person I had bought the kit from was fluent in German as the instructions were in that language. However there were plenty of illustrations and the Kinetic website had many pictures of Heinzmann kits fitted to customers bikes.

So without too many problems and only a few bruised fingers I managed to add the kit to my bike – although not the Dahon, as I had realised that maybe carrying a mountain bike to my second storey flat with the electric kit installed might not be much fun, so I’d bought the cheapest mountain bike that Halfords sold, and had fitted the kit to that.

My first electric bike ride

The first ride was a revelation – the motor would not it seemed pull away for standstill without me pedalling as well, but once I was moving I found myself pedalling to keep up with the motor. How fast I was going I had no idea, but it certainly was fun and there was definitely a lot of wind ruffling my hair.


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