EMTB coaching at Malvern hills 21/01/15

Our eBike coach Alex went to Malvern Hills with a couple of friends on the night of the 21st January to have a scout around the hills for a planned eBike guided ride event coming up soon. Alex put a few words together about what happened.

Getting to the hills was lovely and clear the whole journey there but that changed as soon as I got to Malvern town where we drove into fog. Finding our car park was a little challenging due to visibility very short but found it eventually. Getting out of the car the temperature was 2 degrees according to the motor, it felt a lot colder though once I got changed. Thermals, riding waterproofs, seal skins socks and gloves on I finally through my leg over my Haibike turned my lights on and was blinded from the fog returning the light into my eyes. We had to turn our lights onto low beam so we could see past the Bosch Nyon at the floor infront of us. Having our Nyon set up to guide us around the hills we had previously programmed back at home before leaving base, we were on our way.

Climbing up the hills on the Xduro Nduro Pro was incredible as I always used to feel tired straight from the car due to the steep bridle way route to get up above the town and onto the routes above. This steep loose pebbled track is a route many mountain bikers feel the burn on, this was proved by the guys I took with me both on Ibis Mojo Hd’s they could not pedal up this route any faster than 3mph in their granny rings. The Nduro Pro was climbing with perfect grip at 12mph with me putting in the same effort as the lads behind me. I decided to go back down the track to speak to the lads, back with them climbing I was chatting away to them normally with them struggling for air so conversation was very much one sided. Once the terrain levelled off we stopped and switched our lights off…… could not see each other let alone any kind of view. This is what it should look like on a clear night;

Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills4.jpg    Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills5.jpg

Not like this;

Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills2.jpg    Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills3.jpg

The Bosch Nyon was guiding us around the hills very well, clear screen instructions were given in advanced and we did not get lost once. The terrain was pretty challenging around the lower tree line being very wet and muddy causing some sliding and drifting action around some trees with large root drops, brilliant fun. I decided to try the Haibike eBike at pedalling up the “impossible” according to the others, the Nduro Pro surprised me by getting just over half way up this mud bath. Deciding to avoid the summit due to the fog we headed back towards the car within the trees again a lot of sliding around was happening, we were all laughing out loud with whoops and giggles.

We popped out off the trails onto the road just around the corner from the car muddy as hell with grins from ear to ear we all had a great time, even though it was cut short due to the weather. Our trip to Mavern Hills with the Haibike Nyon leading the way was a success for fun but little knowledge was gained for a planned guided ride around there yet.

Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills6.jpg    Haibike-xduro-nduro-pro-2015-bosch-nyon-malvern-hills.jpg

Alex is certain that his trusty mountain bike the Haibike Nduro Pro will be taking him around the Malvern Hills again soon.

Llandegla Forest

30th December 2014.

Our trip to Llandegla forest for a small group of friends, Rob – Andrew – Caroline – Martin and Jamie. We had planned the trip originally to guide the group up and around Mt Snowdon, unfortunately the weather in north Wales was a little white so we decided that it was too risky going near Snowdon which is why we ended up at the trail centre. Here is a picture of Mt Snowdon on a few days before we went.

EMTB coaching snowdon haibike nduro snow

So our trip started early in the morning meeting the group on the M54 services for a Costa Coffee wake up drink. It was clear the day was going to be entertaining from the atmosphere the group had with banter flying from one individual to the other. After our stop we shifted on our way up north to our destination of Llandegla, the weather at this point was very promising for us, blue sky’s with little cloud and no wind. The roads were clear and dry so our hopes were high for the day ahead.

one planet adventure snow covered emtb coaching  one planet adventure emtb coaching snow day

Arriving at the turning into the forest drive to head up-to the car park we were greeted by a slippery ice road, the traction was low and our van was sliding while climbing up the hill. Finally we got parked and ready for our outing in the white stuff around ‘degla’. While most of us were ready and well equipt for the day ahead one of us had forgotten the all important piece of the jigsaw that we all need to ride…. yes, Rob had forgotten his front axle! With every option that we had come up with to get him riding, we finally ran out of options he had to hire a bike. So with his tail between his legs he went and hired a bike, a hard tail from 1pm.

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

We left Rob to do a lap of the Blue route so that we would be back in time for him to join us. The ground was very hard packed with snow and ice in places, a few puddles were dotted around but on a whole the course was ‘epic’. Little traction when out of the trees in the open areas where the snow had been froze solid, riding through this was very exciting on the eBike. Our group was all on conventional bicycles apart from me, the Haibike Xduro Nduro Pro was exceptional in every way, every climb in snow or ice the bike managed to find traction surprising me as much as annoying everyone else who was pushing in places, doing wheelies on the bike while climbing and over taking people was quite fun. Anyway, the blue was quite fast and flow’y considering the conditions, cornering through berms was fun having snow spraying up while pumping through most turns. There was a lot of screams throughout the day from the lads and lass having a giggle on this new favourite terrain of mine.

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro  llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro  llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

Back at One Planet Adventure we met up with Rob on his new favourite hard tail ready to head back out after another coffee stop. This time we were to tackle the red route. Having to face the climb out of the car park was quite a challenge for some of them knowing what was about to happen. Rob seemed full of energy and jumping around like a small child on Christmas eve, wheelies and scrubbing the rear tyre around the car park was one of the ways we noticed his excitement. The Haibike Xduro was very impressive yet again, this time I overtook all of the group in one pass while riding in the deeper unpacked snow to the side of the trail. Letting all of them have a ride on the Nduro was a good way for them to experience my enjoyment. Seeing all of their faces smile and laughing while testing the eBike was just as fun for me to watch as riding it myself. Once we all got to the top of the climb it was a good place to stop and have a chat before heading off winding down the hill. The trail was riding sweet considering the conditions, rollers, berms and a few drops were covered in snow which made it more of a challenge but just as enjoyable. Eventually we head into the trees where the snow hasn’t managed to get through the trees canopy making the trails very fast compared to out in the open. We all seemed to be riding very well round the woods but eventually we ended up back in the picturesque snowy conditions, yay! We wasn’t too far from the end where we were on a fire road just about to head back into the trees for one of the last decent’s this is where we had a little chat while some of us were expelling some more energy doing some loose turns, drifting the bikes in the snow around the corner we were standing on. Just before the final climb to the centre there is a section of board walk which had little to no grip even with the chicken wire the snow had become sheet ice and with the board walk being tilting turns it had a few of us off dropping down the side of it into a foot of snow, all laughing at each other it made for good times. We had a few little minor errors through the day, one puncture, one frozen gear cable and a axle missing haha.

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro  llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro  llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

The days riding had come to an end but the day had not, more coffee and cake in the cafe once we had all changed and loaded the bikes into the van. Once we were being asked to leave very nicely by the staff of One Planet Adventure we headed to the vehicles with snow balls hurling across the car park at one another like a final battle of the day for victory. Heading down the snowy ice packed lane in the dark was very interesting driving, the van was going sideways at certain parts when the tracks had taken control of the steering wheel. Some passengers were a little shook up but once down to the road junction Andy was a little pleased. Our usual stop on the way home at Mc Donald’s was in order due to the cafe being shut for cooking as we got there late. An hour and half went by in Ronald’s place before hand shakes and hugs were passed around the group like we would never see each other again, except during the hour and half in the restaurant we had passed our phones around to show off our photography skills from the days adventure followed shortly by discussing our next guided ride with EMTB. Good day, good times and good people.

llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro  llandegla emtb coaching snow day haibike nduro

Forest of Dean

27th December 2014.

Had a good day out on the eBike on Saturday with some local eBikers and my friends.

Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike  Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike

We went to the Forest of Dean, in Gloucester. The weather was dry with occasional puddles laying at the bottom of some berms which my trusty large mudguard at the front dealt nicely with the water splash, I did not get a drop on my face at all throughout the day, result!

Our day went as follows, I took the 2 eBikers to the skills area to have a quick ‘one two’ pointers on their ability before heading off to ride the red cross country route. The lads riding conventional bikes had headed off to start the red while we did a little on the skills area. Using our new found skills and our eBikes we soon caught them up about 1/4 of the way round the route. We soon overtook them on a climb before we headed off down a decent and loop back around to ride the same run to catch the lads a second time.

Once the red had been completed we went over to a new down hill route called ‘launch pad’ designed for 4 wheel bikes, this downhill run is like a runway with turns, whoops, rollers and table tops. Its very fast even without pedalling! We had all climbed up together along the fire road, some of the lads had to push their bikes while we slowly pedalled our eBikes next to them. Once at the top we rode down together, a lot of screams and whistling was heard from passers by while they were pushing the climb as we rode down in a group. Eventually at the bottom the boys wanted to ride it again, mean while us eBikers decided to find out how many times we could do this run before the boys got to do it once more. So off we went in a gentle hurry up the climb in ‘Turbo mode’ taking less than 4 mins to get to the start point of the down, and off we went down, up, down, up. We eventually waited at the top for the boys to catch us after doing the run 3 times to there 1. Owning an eBike at this moment in time was such a great feeling, we felt refreshed and ready to go while the lads had finally regrouped along side us pretty tired but eager to get going. Its now at this point I

need to tell you that the lads were aged between 25 and 40 all who ride well with strong fitness – the eBikers were myself 26 and the other 2 were 45 and 58 both don’t regularly get out and train on bicycles. The feeling was great!

Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike

We all stopped for lunch with a quick bite to eat and drink before throwing a leg over our steeds and away we went for the afternoon. Heading out the car park to the blue route, this is a longer route but still with challenging switchback climbs and a few flowing downs. Working our way through the forests with the blistering winter sunshine glaring through the trees and icy cold air it was a picturesque day. The banter was being hurled at each other to keep the climbs entertaining, while I insisted on riding up to the top of the climb and picking a natural line off the trails back down to the bottom through plenty of loose moss covered logs and loam, I was winding through trees at a fast pace, all to do the climb once more and over take the lads who was struggling for air. Once we had got to the top of the finial decent we all congregated to have 5 mins to get our breath. Heading off the fire road like the megavalanche start line trying to get first place as the trail bottle necked into single track was a good laugh, handle bars were close to each other while some power wheelies were being pulled to get that little extra forward to be in first place, all to tackle the down hill section, now the competition was on. Having come second into the trees I knew I was using my vision and knowledge of riding to get in front of my pal, scanning the ground as it approached at sub 20 mph, I eventually found the place it was a section of 4 berms, I knew I could use the berm wall to jump to the next berm while he was going around it. As I approached I launched over and got a sloppy landing, nearly crashing I managed to pull the bike upright and off I went pedalling like crazy to get the lead. I popped out at the bottom on the fire road laughing but exhausted, the lad behind was crying in laughter too approaching me with his hand in the air for a high five, was a great feeling.

Back at the car we said bye to the eBikers as they were in a hurry to get home, so we set off again, this time to do some down hill runs. Off back to the top of the hill side via the lads favourite push up path or now known as my slow riding path. Battery life was getting low now, I had 2 bars remaining out of 5. Riding the eBike I feel like I want to keep riding all the time, I used to stop and chat with the lads quite often to get the breath back or have a drink but today I found out that with other eBikers that happens while you ride. The lads were pushing so I decided to ride up the hill away from them and ride a DH run without them as I know I can catch them up. They had to wait for me at the top this time, secretly I think they kind of enjoyed that. Using Turbo when you have less than 3 bars you are aware of the battery power loss, its not as potent but still very impressive, so conserving energy is now a priority as I don’t want to stop riding. We chose to do GBU which is the largest of runs at FoD, big table tops, open root sections, large drops, big berms and a 4cross track style event at the bottom makes it quite challenging. Following this run we decided to do Sheepskull another challenging run, this one consisted of bigger root sections leading into drops and lots of rocks to keep you on edge. By the time we had got down it the time was half 3 and the sun had started to drop behind the hill side so visibility was getting low, time to call it a day.

Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike   Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike

As we got back to the van it started to rain a little, we did not mind as we had the pressure washer in the boot to get the mud off the bikes, refilled the 17 litre tank and away we went cleaning our kit too. Changed and showered we felt tired but what a day! All of us have felt the heavy turkey dinners over Christmas take its toll but what a way to end our Christmas break enjoying each others company out on the trails.
Bosch nyon forest of dean emtb coaching mtb eBike

An insight to what eBiking is like.

The hardest thing for me when I decided to look into eBikes was the lack of videos to help me understand all my questions. Having questions like “how heavy is it” – “how does it feel to ride” – “how does the assistance help” – “what gradient can it cope with” are just a few that went through my head.

Bosch have sorted that out for anyone looking into it from the unknown. Granted you cannot feel the weight or appreciate how it climbs or handles or anything the eBike offers until you get your back side on one and pedal it off road, a car park will not suffice! Bosch have created a interactive video giving a hand full of videos to choose from with different perspectives to view each of them.

Looking at what Bosch have created is great for you to have an insight to where its at with eBikes.

But you still need to experience it for yourself to appreciate what eBikes really can do!

Check it out bellow.