All aboard the Bike Train!
Cycle to school is for families with children at primary school. General information and frequently asked questions below. Routes and timetables are here. Want to join the school Bike Train? Fill out this form and get on board!
Community Bike Train is for everyone else – whether you want to gain the confidence cycle to work, the shops, your friend’s house or wherever! This is a new project for March 2023 – read all about the Community Bike Train here.
Both projects are supported by the fabulous Bike Library – join for £30 and get a bike for life. Details here.
Bike Train: cycle to school
Cycle to school safely with the Bike Train – a group ride supported by marsals, along a set route to and from school. It is suitable for Year 5 and 6 pupils who have completed Bikeability training, but any competent cyclists can join in. Where possible, children are accompanied by a parent who also cycles.
The Bike Train started in September 2022 with the ‘Great Northern’ from Marham Park to Bury St Edmunds town centre. There is now a different train running every day except Wednesdays, see routes and timetables
You can read more about the Bike Train and its first term of operation (Autumn 2022) here, the Spring term here, and the end of year here in our progress reports, or see frequently asked questions below.
Frequently asked questions
What is the Bike Train?
A way for children to ride their own bikes to and from school in a group, supported by adult cyclists.
Who can ride in the Bike Train?
The Bike Train is aimed at Year 5 and 6 pupils who have completed Bikeability training, but any children with sufficient riding skills may join at their parent or carer’s risk. Where possible, children are accompanied by a parent who also cycles.
Can my younger children join the Bike Train?
If younger children have had Bikeability training or they have sufficient riding skills and are accompanied by a parent/carer, they may ride with the Bike Train at the parent’s risk. Alternatively, we can transport them in the EcoCarriers BSE cargo bikes that accompany the Bike Train.
I’d like to ride too but I don’t feel confident enough, can you help?
Come along to a free Learn to Ride session, where you can brush up your riding skills and gain confidence riding in a group. These will happening at various schools throughout the year – sign up here to our mailing list for updates.
My child hasn’t had Bikeability training, can they still join the Bike Train?
If you can bring your child to a free Learn to Ride session happening throughout 2023, our instructors will assess their riding ability and advise whether they need Bikeablility training before joining. These will happening at various schools – sign up here to our mailing list for updates. Parents can brush up on their riding skills (and learn to ride) at these sessions too.
I’d like my child to take part but we don’t have a suitable bike, can you help?
We have started a Bike Library that loans out bikes free. Contact us if you would like to know more.
What about the heavy bag/kit my child needs to take to school?
Heavy and bulky kit can go in the EcoCarriers BSE cargo bikes that accompany the Bike Train.
Why is there a wolf riding a cargo bike on the poster?
It’s the Bike Train logo! The wolf is taking Edmund’s head to school.
What happens in bad weather?
The Bike Train will run year round, provided the conditions are safe for cycling.
What is the route?
There are currently four Bike Trains in and out of the town centre – from each point of the compass: North (Marham Park and the Howard estate), South (Nowton and Southgate), East (Moreton Hall) (note: this route is currently suspended) and West (Priors, Horringer and Westley estates). You can join the train at any point along the route. See Routes and Timetables
What if we miss the Bike Train; will it go without us?
Yes it will go without you, so try to be on time. You can live track the progress of the Bike Train via our WhatsApp group.
What does it cost?
The Bike Train is free to use thanks to support from Bury St Edmunds Town Council, Suffolk County Council and EcoCarriers BSE volunteers.
How will the Bike Train be made safe for the children?
The Bike Train leaders are experienced cyclists who are trained in leading rides. The Train is also supported by parents and other adult volunteer cyclists. Each Bike Train route has been carefully designed to be as safe as possible, and the adult riders will work together to minimise danger at road junctions or from impatient motorists. However, children participate at the risk of the parent/carer, and adults at their own risk.
I/my child have a condition/disability that makes it difficult to ride a standard bicycle. How can we join the Bike Train?
Any type of bike, or trike is welcome in the Bike Train (but not bikes with stabilisers). Talk to us if you would like to try an adaptive cycle. It may also be possible to ride in a rickshaw.
Who are EcoCarriers BSE?
We are a sister organisation to Bury Rickshaw and our aim is to get people cycling so they don’t need to use their cars so much. This is good for the planet, air quality and our health. Each Train will be led by a fully trained EcoCarriers BSE rider. We are a Community Benefit Society – a type of not for profit organisation.
Do other places have Bike Trains?
Yes! For example, Warwick, Old Shoreham Rd in W Sussex, Barrack Road in Dorset (pictured), Strathbungo in Scotland, Limerick in Ireland.
Anything else I need to know?
Whilst every reasonable precaution will be taken to ensure the safety of children and parents in the Bike Train, participation in the Bike Train is at parents’ own risk.
I’m interested, what happens next?
Please complete this online form and we’ll keep you posted. https://forms.gle/QQ3KainST9BwaqBr7
Tel: 01284 413441
Community Bike Train
Starting in March 2023, the Community Bike Train is aimed at adults who want to gain confidence for cycling in and around Bury St Edmunds. The project kicked off with ‘On Your Bike’ cycle training sessions at Olding Road car park on Saturday 11th and 18th March. Another is planned for April, and there will be also be a guided ride round the town.
These sessions are free open to all adults looking to cycle more. Funded by Cycling UK and run by qualified instructors. Loan bikes are available on the day with the opportunity to buy a bike for life for yourself and other family members from the Bike Library. Does your bike need fixing? Bring it along for the attention of the on-site Dr Bike (also a free service).
The aims of the training are to:
1 Learn the basics of safe riding;
2 Improve your bike handling skills;
3 Build the confidence to ride on the road.
The session is based on Bikeability training principles.