Leighton-Linslade has a good quality local cycle network that is constantly improving. A series of online journey planners and local cycle maps will help you to plan your best route.
Transport Direct Cycle Journey Planner
This journey planner covers Leighton-Linslade and the surrounding area, giving you options to plan your journey by the quickest, quietest, or most recreational route. As well as showing the route, it gives you journey times, and even a gradient profile of your journey. Visit the Transport Direct Cycle Journey Planner website to plan your journey.
Local Cycle Maps
A few cycle maps cover Leighton-Linslade. The most comprehensive is the Active Travel Map (PDF 7.9MB), which shows all the local cycle routes in the town, as well as the locations of bus stops and walking routes. National Cycle Route 6 runs through the heart of the town, and is covered by the Active Travel Map. But you may be interested in the route maps to Luton (PDF 827KB) and Bletchley (PDF 743KB). Paper copies of these maps are available at the rail station ticket office, and at the Town Council Offices.
If you have an iPhone or an Android Phone, you can also download a ‘cycle sat-nav’ app, that plots your route to wherever you want to go. The majority of cycle sat-navs have up-to-date route information, and some can also speak the directions to you while you ride. Good ones are Bike GPS by Bike Hut, and Cyclestreets.
If you do want a Cycle Sat-Nav, a few words of advice from experience:
- Invest some money into a good quality phone holder for your handlebars – It stops you having to search for your phone, and a good one will protect your phone well if it falls off!
- Keep your eyes on the road – Basic we know, but only glance at your Sat Nav every now and then. If you get lost, stop before checking your phone
A few helpful hints for cycling around
If you are just starting out, there are plenty of off-road routes, shared-use paths, and quiet roads leading to the station. Once you have a bit more confidence you can take on the busier roads and junctions. Remember, you can’t cycle on the pavement unless it is a shared-use path, as shown by a blue circular sign with a pedestrian and a cyclist on it.
To start off with cycling, you will need to get together a few things. Don't worry, they don't cost too much and are easy to get!
You may be relieved to hear that you don’t need loads of lycra to get on your bike. If you cycle at a steady pace, you can cycle in your work clothes and hardly break a sweat. Alternatively, you can leave your work clothes at work, and cycle to work in your casual clothes.
The only item of clothing we recommend you buy is a good rain jacket and a good pair of gloves. If you can buy a fluorescent yellow or orange jacket, this is even better, as you will be more visible to other road users.
To secure your bike, a good sturdy D-lock is essential. With locks you really get what you pay for, so we would recommend getting the best lock that you can afford. You can also use a chain lock, but we would suggest that you use these for securing removable parts like wheels.
Essential (and legally required) for cycling after dark. For cycling around town, some basic LED lights should do, but for cycling in unlit areas you will need something more powerful.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a legal requirement for an adult to wear a helmet while cycling. But they are still essential equipment, providing extra protection in the highly unlikely event of an accident.
All new bikes come fitted with a bell, but if you don’t have one then they are well worth the investment. They are great for making people aware that you are there.
You never know when it will happen, but its good to be prepared for it. That is why we recommend that you take a spare inner tube and puncture repair kit with you. They don’t take up much room, are pretty cheap, and save you a lot of fuss and bother when punctures do happen.
Don’t know how to repair a puncture? Then find out about local cycle maintenance courses in your area. Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Quick tip: If you get a puncture when out on the road, just change the inner tube. Its quicker and easier than repairing the puncture at the roadside (something that you can easily do at home later).
It’s a good idea to have your own pump with you just in case you lose any tyre pressure, or get a flat at any point. It’s a good idea to carry a small hand pump with you at all times, so you can quickly inflate your tyres while on the move. You can also have a much larger Stand Pump at home which will fully inflate the tyres.
It is essential that you have the right kind of bike for the journey that you plan to make. Here is a general guide on what types of bikes there are available.
The road bike is light and skinny, and is designed for speed. They can’t take a lot of punishment from going off road, but they are great for cycling around town and getting there quickly. A touring bike is very similar, but a lot sturdier due to the distances that they have to cover.
The mountain bike is built for all terrains, with a sturdy frame, a wide selection of gears, and good brakes. They are great if a lot of your route is off-road on unmade bridleways.
The hybrid gets the best out of the road bike and the mountain bike by combining speed and strength. This sort of bike is good for everyday cycling.
The folding bike is great if you want to use the bike at both ends of your trip. They are strong and fold down into something that can be easily carried, and are surprisingly light. They can also be taken on the train at any time.
Electrically-assisted bikes are brilliant for helping you up hills and if you just want that extra hand while cycling around. Rather than take over, they just apply that extra bit of power when you pedal to make it that bit easier.
No matter what type of bike you get the most critical thing is that you have the right-sized frame for you. Typically, you should look for a clearance of at least an inch between yourself and the crossbar (the bit of the frame running along the top). Anything less than this, then the bike is too big for you.
Get it serviced
If your bike is good for you, but it has been locked away for a while, then take it to your local bike mechanic to get it fully serviced. A full bike service costs significantly less than servicing a car, and your local mechanic will also help set up your bike so that you can ride it comfortably.
The quick set-up
Setting up your bike in the right way is crucial to having a comfortable ride. Here are a few quick tips:
- Adjust your seat height so that when you stand still, the ball of your foot and your toes rest comfortably on the ground
- Make sure that the handlebars are at the same height as your seat
- Make sure that the tyres are fully inflated to the point where it is difficult to press your thumb against them
If you haven’t learnt to ride a bike or you think you need a refresh, then a training course is for you. They are based upon the same principle’s as Bikeability, is the replacement for the old National Cycle Proficiency Test. They will give you the skills and the confidence that you need to cycle safely. There are 3 levels to the training.
This is the most basic level of cycle training This focuses on the most basic bike handling skills in an environment away from cars. This focuses on getting the basics right, and starting to build your confidence.
This is where you start to interact with real traffic, but you will be sticking to minor roads. This focuses on honing your skills so that you can use them on quiet roads and cycle paths.
The most advanced level of training, where you move up to busy roads and junctions. Doing this will give you confidence to cycle almost everywhere.
Book a lesson
Each of the levels lasts approximately two hours. A full list of local training providers can be found on the national Bikeability website.
Taking your bike on board the train with you and get twice the benefit by using your bike at both ends. Not only can your bike be carried free of charge on all trains at Leighton Buzzard station, but you don’t even need to book in advance!
If you own a folding bike, such as a Brompton, good news. You can take your bike on any train at any time. If your bike doesn’t fold, you can take your bike on the train:
- Trains heading towards London before 6:15am and after 9:30am on weekdays
- Trains leaving London before 4pm and after 7pm on weekdays
- On any day at any time on the Bedford to Bletchley line
- At any time on weekends and bank holidays
If you want to travel further, then other train operators have different policies for bikes on trains. So we recommend you take a few minutes to read them.
London Midland Cycle Policy | Southern Cycle Policy | National Cycle Rail Policy
Where you can put your bike on the train
On the majority of trains there are dedicated cycle storage areas in the passenger carriages. Just look for the cycle symbol on the outside of the train.