News for May: Dr Bike and Railway Station Survey

Hello everyone, hope you’ve been enjoying the dry albeit a bit chilly bank holiday weekend. At least the rain that is forecast to start in a few hours upon writing this didn’t start on Monday instead! I managed to get in some miles with friends from LBRCC on Saturday morning on my road bike which was enjoyable.

Dr Bike returns!

Peter Dr Bike’ing, complete with luxurious cycle-delivered armchair.

Now for the news, first of all…we have two new Dr Bike dates! These proved to be very popular last year and we are really looking forward to seeing more of Leighton Buzzard’s cyclists and help them stay on the road (or indeed shared space pavements that have been implemented, such as on Chartmoor Road). The first event is on the 29th of May on Leighton Buzzard High Street between 9AM and 3PM and is funded by CyclingUK‘s Big Bike Revival event.

The second Dr Bike session will be the following week again on the high street on Saturday the 5th of June, between 9AM and 3PM. This second session will be entirely funded by Leighton BuzzCycles and is being run as part of Cycling UK’s Bike Week.

Here is the link for booking either of the dates, which works the same way as it did last year. Once I have confirmed the booking you will get the confirmation email, and it will also send you a reminder email a day or two before your appointment. I didn’t point this out to people last year but it also offers the ability for you to cancel your appointment too, and people whose plans changed mostly remembered to cancel their appointments which was very considerate, so thanks for that. Please if it turns out closer to your session that you cannot attend, remember to cancel, as it allows other people to take up the space instead. Remember that these sessions are entirely free to attendees. I hesitate to call them “bike repair” as we cannot guarantee that all bikes will be repaired (30 minutes per bike), however we will do our best to make any repairs we can in that time, once we have done the bicycle health check which is the first thing we do at the start of the session. Please remember that we require you to remain with your bike during the session, as we cannot be held responsible for the bicycle’s security after the session is finished, also we liked to tell you what we’re doing as we do it. We look forward to seeing you all.

Leighton Buzzard Railway Station Usage Survey

Taken on a Bank Holiday, hence why it’s so quiet.

We recently received a message from a concerned potential cycle rider who wanted to do some mixed-mode commuting by cycling to the rail station, locking their bike up, and then continuing their journey by train. I’m sure any of you who have much experience with keeping bikes at our rail station, or have heard stories relating to that activity will know what the weak link in that chain (pardon the pun!) of events is. Locking bikes up at the station has been problematic for as long as I have known. They do have multiple car parks however, of course. We (and indeed London NorthWestern Railway) ought to be doing everything in their power to encourage their users to cycle to the station, rather than drive. Sadly the cycle provision there is severely lacking. While there are plenty of stands, it’s unfortunately quite common to hear of thefts or attempted thefts of bikes.

Fortunately for me I live right next to the train station, so that’s not an issue, but I do of course sympathise with those who can’t simply walk to the station. For now my suggestion for anyone considering locking a bike at the station would be to get a good quality lock and a bike that you don’t particularly care about (but is in good working order) and use that solely for the station. Clearly this is not an ideal solution for those with limited cycle storing capacity at home however. Leighton Buzzard’s a pretty small town and anyone within its limits should be able to ride to the station and secure their bike there with confidence.

I’ve already tweeted them about whether there are any plans to improve the security situation at the station. Unsurprisingly the response I received was a simple “no”. I was told if I wanted to get a more detailed response, I should contact them directly. I gathered that this was likely to be wasted effort without any larger campaign to get the situation. So, to that end I’ve compiled a google survey that we’d like you to fill out. Please share this with anyone you know who either does cycle to the train station or would like to. After several weeks of running this survey we’d like to use the data received to attempt to convince London NorthWestern railway to improve the situation. Here’s the survey, thanks for your time.

Woman’s Hour – Breaking barriers to cycling for women

One last thing, this morning there was a Woman’s Hour episode on barriers to cycling for women. Well worth a listen. Here’s the link.

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