Thursday, 10 November 2016

Charging your electric bike

Updated June 2017

Have you been thinking of joining one of our rides on an electric bike, and wondered whether you could recharge it at a cafe along the way? Mike Stapleton has some answers:

I have recently had a request for information about places which are willing to let me charge my battery while having refreshments. This is a huge help as it allows me to increase my range. The bike has transformed my cycling more than doubling my mileage from last year. It has been a rapid learning curve. It has become a new and very enjoyable form of cycling. It even goes quite fast at times!

I have asked a number of cafés, garden centres, pubs etc and they are usually very happy to help. Here are some where I have successfully charged my bike's batteries. If other members of the club would like to add their own experiences then either send them to us or add a comment to this blog posting.

Follow the links to see details of each place.

Baldock, Tapps Garden Centre Ask at the counter on the left at the entrance.

Buntingford Coffee Shop. Power points near front window.

Bourn, The Willow Tree. 29 High Street, Bourn CB23 2SQ. Phone 01954 719775. Open 9am-5pm Weekdays and Saturdays

Clavering, Christian Centre Power point in main hall near café door.

Cottenham, Community Centre Ask at the counter. There are power points in the hall beyond the café.

Hare Street, The March Hare Tea Rooms

Henlow, The Five Bells

Houghton, Houghton Mill (NT)

Ickleton, Riverside Café Ask first. Mike recommends "leave a tip". Socket on front wall.

Much Hadham, Hopley's Café

Old Warden, Shuttleworth Collection. There are power sockets at the far end of the café on the left.

Rushden, Mill End Plants Tea Room Very cycle friendly.

St Ives, Nuts Bistro.

Saffron Walden, Bicicleta Coffee Power socket located on front wall of café.

Stansted Mountfitchet, The Bean House.

Thaxted, Parrishes Restaurant.

Waresley Park Garden Centre.

West Wratting, The Chestnut Tree

Willington, Blossom Café

It's best to take the battery off the bike and take the battery and charger to a power point in the cafe. You will probably need to unlock the battery from the bike: mine simply slides into the carrier and locks in place automatically.

I usually leave a donation in one of their charity or staff boxes as a gesture of thanks. The cost of electricity is about 3p. My unit takes about 200W from the mains. One hour of charging usually gives me about 20 miles. The charger goes in my saddlebag.

It would be interesting to contact other local Cycling UK/CTC groups to get a national picture. Mike Stapleton

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