Aylesbury - Thu 01 Sep
HCT is running these the courses on behalf of AVDC. Bookings can be made directly through them online...
We regularly receive comments from cyclists who wish to share their experiences of cycling. Below are some of these tales about cycling in Aylesbury and around Buckinghamshire. If you would like to share your cycling anecdotes please email them to us. Enjoy reading!
"I cycle to work in Leighton Buzzard about three days a week to keep fit for recreational cycling on Sundays and holidays. Many people react that they wouldn’t want to cycle along the A418, but there are other ways. I do an anticlockwise circuit from Bedgrove to the Grovebury Road area of Leighton Buzzard. If you do your rides anticlockwise you will mostly be turning left, which minimises the number of potentially more difficult right turns. I go via Aston Clinton, Long Marston and Cheddington then either Mentmore and Ledburn or Slapton. It is a lovely rural route with little traffic most of the way. Coming home I take a slightly shorter route via Ledburn and Wingrave, only using the A418 from the Aston Abbots crossroads to Bierton. We live in a lovely area for longer rides at the weekends; into the Chilterns, across the Vale or down to the River Thames with a stop for tea and cake! Last year I spent two weeks cycling from the Mediterranean to the English Channel in France with friends, carrying light luggage and staying in hotels. This year we are going to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain using the train to Portsmouth and the ferry to Santander. The bicycle is a great freedom machine!"
Peter Robinson, Aylesbury Cycle Campaign, June 2011
"Thank you Cycle Aylesbury! The adult cycle training course has encouraged me to cycle more in my free time and I have signed up for the London to Brighton bike ride in June!! It was good to go back to basics and look at road positioning, signalling safely and remembering to 'cover your brakes' at all times which I do not instinctively do. The main thing for me about cycling is it's an opportunity to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise and unlike going to the gym, it is FREE! I think the County Council pool bikes are a fantastic resource. The Spokes cycle trainers had a bit of a challenge as they had a range of different abilities to deal with, from novices and nervous riders like me, to a few colleagues who cycle to work every day and who were already quite confident. I think everyone picked up some useful hints and tips and overall I would recommend it to anyone really."
Judith Walker, Buckinghamshire County Council, March 2011
"Although I have been cycling to and from work via the Jet Way, I jumped at the chance of some cycle training to build confidence and learn more about how to read the road ahead on routes that I don't know. The sessions were very informative and friendly and our small group quickly gelled. We learned the importance of covering our brakes, how to signal correctly and road positioning - perhaps the most important aspect because it really makes a difference to how cars treated you and how safe you felt. As we progressed onto cycling around streets and practicing manoeuvres, you could see a difference in each of our cycling abilities - we were much more confident and felt more secure too. Two trainers were present at all times so we always felt safe when cycling to and from locations, even on roundabouts and busy junctions. I would recommend the training to anyone who either doesn't yet cycle or like I was, does a bit but doesn't really know if they are doing things correctly and feels uncomfortable once they get off their 'home turf'. I looked forward to our weekly sessions and actually felt somewhat disappointed when the course ended and I knew we wouldn't be having our get-togethers in the safe hands of the trainers again!"
Selina Jones, March 2011
"Hello I live on the Tring Road and I had a horrid moment last week when my car refused to start at 11.20 and I needed to be in Fairford Leys by 12! - No time for a cab so I jumped on my bike which I usually use for recreation, not work. I knew my way to Fowler road, but was unsure how to get to the Fairford Leys centre, but told myself I would work it out when I got to the college - and I didn't need to - for it was signpost incredibly clearly as the Emerald Route, on the pavement, on signs, with approximate times - it was brilliant! I got there in 22 minutes, with time to catch my breath, regain the power of speech and ask a passing postman the exact address. Fabulous! Thanks."
Jay Hall 27th November 2010
"Having the opportunity to use a pool bike was brilliant. I was hesitant about cycling at first, as I had not cycled for a number of years and had no bike of my own. Being able to use a pool bike, built up my confidence and enabled me to assess if I would use a bike enough to commit to owning one. I use my bike most days now. I don't miss sitting frustrated in traffic jams and feel safe when the nights draw in. I also get the chance to enjoy things that I would miss in the car, not to mention the cost savings. Today I have just returned to my desk after completing some site work on the bike, thus saving time and resources. I now actively encourage others to take up the opportunity."
Claire Quilley TfB June 2010
"I had my bike looked at by Dr Bike last Wednesday and I just wanted to say how much I appreciated the service. I have never managed to make a session before and I was amazed how much you got for free! My bike got a thorough overhaul, new pedals and it had its handle bars turned the right way up (yes, I have been cycling for years with handle bars upside down!) If you want staff that choose to cycle to feel encouraged this is the right way to go about it!"
Karen Arnold, Senior HR Assistant
"My name is Mike, I am an Aylesbury resident and regularly cycle within the town. I mainly use my bike for commuting and general journeys within Aylesbury. I also cycle for recreation. I am a BCC employee and recently, co-formed the Amersham Bicycle User Group (ABUG) a partnership group between BCC and Chiltern District Council to develop cycling facilities at Amersham Council Offices and to encourage Amersham staff to try cycling as a commuting transport. I believe cycling is an excellent way to combine a functional method of transport and a cardiovascular exercise contributing to a healthy lifestyle. It is also an exercise that does not ‘pound’ joints, such as knees and ankles. Cycling is for all, not just athletic types - everyone can cycle at a pace that is comfortable for them. In my own case, I have a mild form of Cerebral Palsy; I may have difficulty in walking 5 miles in a day, but I have no difficulty in cycling, say, 30 miles in a day. I would encourage anyone to try cycling even if it’s only once or twice a week to start with. I suggest that Aylesbury, with the Gemstone Cycleway network, is a great place to start."
Mike Barber, June 2010
"Swanbourne CE School and St James & St John School in Chackmore have both recently completed their first Bikeability cycle training programmes for Year 5 & Year 6 children. At Swanbourne School 27 children successfully completed the training and at St James & St John School an amazing 30 children successfully completed the Bikeability Level 2 training programmes. Both schools obtained funding from Bucks County Council for the Bikeability Level 2 training and are participating schools in the North Bucks Cycle Project funded by the Extended School Services. As part of this cycle project both schools have access to funding for Bikeability Level 1 training aimed at Year 3 and Year 4 children as well as Cycle Maintenance programmes."
Jill Henderson, Mobile Cycle Training Service
"I live north east Milton Keynes and when I used to work in the center I used to regularly cycle the 4.5 miles to work when the weather was dry. However, since working for BCC in Aylesbury I have been driving to work nearly everyday. Then the publicity for the salary sacrifice bike to work purchase scheme came out and I thought that would give me a challenge. So I bought a road bike at the end of 2009. As a runner I am reasonably fit, but had not done any serious cycling, so I knew I needed to improve my cycling fitness before undertaking the ride to Aylesbury. Once the spring came I have been gradually increasing my mileage at the weekends. Finally the weather was fine, the school holidays meant the traffic would be light and I didn't have any meetings at either end of the day. I thought that this represented my best chance of success. My route took me through Milton Keynes in to Bletchley then into the Buckinghamshire countryside through many of the small villages in the North of the County and finally a roll down the hill into Aylesbury, before arriving at County Hall via the Ruby Way gemstone cycle path. The new secure bike parking facilities were good and getting a shower in NCO was also easy. The hills seemed tougher on the way home and I slept very well that night! I can't afford the time to do it very often, but I do hope to try again. The weather was kind to me, the scenery great and hopefully it will pay dividends on my fitness."
Richard Schmidt, Assistant Head of Finance