Over 30 Central Bedfordshire schools show their pedal power
Pupils at over 30 schools in Central Bedfordshire recently pedaled an amazing 31,519 scooter and bike journeys to school during the national Big Pedal competition, which ran from 23 April to 4 May. The Big Pedal is a national challenge between schools to get more young people cycling and scooting.
Central Bedfordshire schools will pedal and scoot around the world in 10 days!
Schools across Central Bedfordshire are encouraging children, teachers and parents to jump on their bikes and scooters to take part in The Big Pedal which is a national challenge between schools to get more young people cycling and scooting.
Cycle parking stands available in Flitwick, Ampthill, Harlington, Dunstable and Houghton Regis
Voluntary sector groups, businesses, shops,
offices, cafés, pubs, churches, dental practices and surgeries in Flitwick, Ampthill, Harlington, Dunstable and
Houghton Regis can get free cycle parking under the community cycle parking
schemes run by ParkThatBike (supported by Travel Choices).
bike parking stands are free of charge, but you are responsible for installing
them on your own property (we provide full instructions) in a location agreed
Cycling offers many personal and practical benefits.
It's good for your health
You may be interested to know that:
The National Forum For Coronary Heart Disease found that regular cyclists enjoy a level of fitness equal to that of someone ten years younger.
According to a British Medical Association report, cycling will improve your fitness, help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of a heart attack and help to reduce stress.
A British Heart Foundation study concluded that cycling at least 20 miles per week reduced the risk of heart disease to less than half that for non-cyclists who take no other exercise.
As well as improving your health and wellbeing, cycling can be lots of fun, not to mention a cheaper, quicker and less stressful way of getting from A to B.
It's low on cost
Bicycles require no Vehicle Excise Duty, no MOT, no compulsory insurance, no breakdown recovery services and, above all, no fuel! A good bicycle, if well maintained, will last for years. All you'll need to pay for is annual servicing.
It's great for the environment
Cycling is an environmentally friendly form of transport because it reduces pollution and congestion.
For example, did you know that the average drive to school and back releases more than 800g of CO2 into the air? That’s enough to inflate over 60 balloons. Encouraging more people to cycle to work, school or for leisure instead of taking the car is key to improving local air quality and tackling congestion.
Confident, safe cycling not only comes through experience, but from good basic training. We offer personalised one-to-one cycle training sessions suitable for all ages and abilities, whether you are a complete novice, just need a refresher, or you're ready for an advanced skills session.
Top tips for safe cycling:
Cycle at a steady pace, about one metre away from the kerb so that you can anticipate and respond to road situations easily. Riding too close to the kerb or parked cars puts you at more risk and encourages drivers to squeeze by
Make eye contact with other road users at junctions and crossings: make sure that they've seen you
Be predictable and confident on the road so that all road users are aware of you
Be visible: wear bright, light coloured clothes and always use good lights and reflective gear at night
Be heard: use your bell to let other road users and pedestrians know that you're approaching
Never cycle on pavements or through red lights: it's against the law and gives cyclists a bad name
Consider wearing a helmet
Respecting other road users
Be aware of pedestrians and motorists around you at all times, particularly in busy city centre areas where a variety of road users come into contact with one another
Always be aware of pedestrians, particularly on shared cycle/pedestrian paths, and give them time to move out of the way
Don’t forget that older people, young children and disabled people may not see or hear you as you approach them on your bike
The Highway Code is essential reading for all road users. It explains the laws that cyclists must obey for everyone’s safety and offers further useful advice
Riding without lights, or without adequate lights, in dark conditions puts you and other road users at risk, as well as being against the law. Check out the weather details of sunrise and sunset times so that you know when to use your lights
Be safe around HGVs
Be safe around HGVs and buses: stay back behind longer vehicles when they are turning left, or move ahead in front of them, never alongside
Central Bedfordshire has secured a grant from central government to cover the costs of providing Bikeability Training to every pupil by the time they complete Year 6. This training is arranged by schools, ideally during the school day, and is highly recommended for all pupils. Please contact your son or daughter's school for more information.
Bikeability training is also highly recommended for adults and can be arranged by booking directly with an accredited instructor. A list of providers is available to view on the Bikeability web site.
Under the Government's Cycle to Work scheme, employers can offer staff tax-free bikes at a cost that is often 40-50% less than the purchase price when going direct to a bike shop. Central Bedfordshire Council operates the scheme and encourages all employers in Bedfordshire to do likewise.
Central Bedfordshire Council has produced a series of Travel Choices maps to help you plan your journey whatever mode you choose.
The maps have been produced as part of Central Bedfordshire's travel choices programme which aims to reduce traffic congestion and car-dependency by providing information to enable people to walk, cycle and use public transport more often.
For cyclists, the maps are designed to help both those with experience and those without. They contain a range of useful information including promoted routes, on and off-road sections, local places of interest and the location of cycle parking.
The Luton & Dunstable Cycling Forum represents local cyclists. It meets on a monthly basis, either for a formal meeting with council representatives or socially. It also runs a popular free led ride programme.
Central Bedfordshire Council is committed to bike recycling and through Travel Choices works in partnership with Luton Borough Council and Bedford Borough Council on a joint bike recycling initiative.
The Hub provides a “shop front” and referral service for recycled bikes which have been donated, fully refurbished, tested and offered for sale at affordable prices. We can provide an up to date list of bikes currently available for sale.
Recycled bikes can really change lives! Working with homeless charities across Bedfodshire, Travel Choices provides a vital link to help people back into work or training. We work with charity coordinators to provide bikes and deliver bike maintenance and cycle confidence training to selected groups of clients. The bikes and training offer them an effective means of accessing work or training opportunities and are often pivotal in helping them to get back on their feet.
We run bike collection events across Central Bedfordshire, so if you have a bike that you would like to donate to the bike recycling scheme, the best way to do this is to bring it along to an event near you. Unfortunately we don't have the resources to collect bikes from individual addresses.
If you're a Central Bedfordshire resident and you have a bike that they need to dispose of but can't wait for the next collection event, you can take it to your nearest Central Bedfordshire Household Recycling Centre. Bikes that are in useable condition will be sold at the Re-Use Shop at very modest prices and all money raised from sales goes back into running the shop and saving re-useable items going to landfill sites!