Start Cycling with Cake Confidence

Just do it, just go, there’s nothing to worry about, and only everything to gain!” (Alison)

**UPDATE: Our Start Cycling courses are on hold until we secure long-term funding. Please email to be put on a waiting list. If you can help financially, donations are always appreciated.**

What is Cake Confidence?

Cake Confidence is a free, friendly, and fun programme to support you into cycling – over cake if you wish! It’s the perfect community scheme to get you (back) into cycling.
We offer free advice, bike loans, confidence training, 1:1 friendly buddy support and rides, tailored to YOU for up to 12 weeks. New courses start every month. It’s also perfect as a ‘learn to ride’ course for absolute beginners. Everyone is welcome!
The 3 Cake Confidence Steps are:
Step 1:
Start Saturday Session – meeting us, agreeing a ‘Cycling Plan’, borrowing a bike if needed and initial confidence training. This takes place in Cycle Heaven cafe on Hospital Fields Road, Fulford, around the start of the month.
Step 2:
Cycling Plan – a personalised plan of cycling activities to support you into cycling, or into cycling more often for up to 12 weeks. Activities are tailored to YOU, and can include personal practice, 1: 1 buddying, more confidence training or a social ride. We ask that you commit to at least one cycling activity a week.
Step 3:
Review – we’ll celebrate your progress and welcome you to the cycling community! We’ll invite you on our Nature Rides to discover some of the best green spaces in York. We’ll welcome you to our Better Together friendship scheme so you can enjoy good company as you walk and cycle around York.
We can also offer you support into a climate-friendly lifestyle. Our Car-Lite Living project will enable you to switch short driving journeys for sustainable walking, cycling or bus journeys.

Everyone is welcome!

We welcome enquiries from people of all ages, abilities, life situations and with health challenges. We have put in place flexible support to cater for a diversity of needs. We can support children as part of family groups and offer loans of child carrying equipment.
We welcome referrals. We are delighted to be working with health support, social prescription and referral organisations across the city, including York City of Scantuary, York Against Cancer, Ways to Wellbeing, NHS Mental Health support teams, CYC Adult Social Care and Local Area Coordination. We are trialling this project as a new ‘Cycling on Prescription’ scheme for York.
You can make a referral on behalf of someone else, or you can refer yourself (self-referral) by completing our Confidential Referral form.

Does Cake Confidence work?

Yes! It is pretty much guaranteed to get you into cycling.
We have worked with over 600 Cake Confidence participants over the last 5 years, with a 97% success rate. In a 2021 survey, 97% said they started cycling or cycled more often after our support.
Listen to Lizzie, Alison, Marissa and Kay in the Remarkable Journeys video at the top of the page, and have a read of some wonderful stories from Holly, Maureen, Rose and Brian below, with more on our Stories pages.
Holly’s amazing experience
Maureen’s recovery
Rose and the e bike
Brian gets back into cycling adventures!
And the scheme will improve your overall health and wellbeing too.
Our 2021 Cake Confidence participants saw significant increases in wellbeing, with most improving their confidence and self-esteem, learning new skills, feeling happier, less socially isolated and more part of the community.

What sort of bike can I borrow?

All our bikes are comfortable and easy to use (pictured), and have names! There is one e-bike. You can borrow a bike for at least 4 weeks for free as part of the scheme. All bikes come with good locks and panniers, and there is a child seat or single trailer for hire. We ask that you sign a bike hire agreement with contact and address details and either pay a £20 returnable deposit, or provide evidence of ID.

YBB Programme

Start Cycling with Cake Confidence is part of our free programme of walking, cycling and nature activities, communications and volunteering for York residents, all year round. We offer support and flexibility where needed.
We hope you’ll join our activities this year. You’ll walk and cycle more, and enjoy a healthy, sociable and green lifestyle. Plus, you’ll get outdoors, feel well, meet new friends, tune into nature, be climate-friendly and enjoy life more!
Check out our other activities.

Thank you!

Thank you to Cycle Heaven and one of their suppliers, Madison, for the donation of 5 bikes and ongoing support, and to Sport England, for funding in 2020/21 and 2022.

Can you help Cake Confidence grow?

We rely on donations, grants and sponsorship to fund our work. Your donation will enable us to offer support into cycling to more people in York. Please donate here.
Copyright 2023. ‘Cake Confidence’, ‘Car-Lite Living’ and ‘Life’s Better By Bike’ are original York Bike Belles projects, all rights reserved.