Cycling Without Age Nature Rides

Jacqui (Passenger), Vicky (volunteer Companion) and Steve (volunteer Pedaller) enjoying a Nature Ride in Rowntree Park

“Exhilarating! After the ride, my stress levels disappeared.”

Christine, Nature Ride 2022

NEW Rides for all the community!

We are now able to offer our Cycling Without Age Rides to the wider York community, enjoying nature as we go! Until now, we have only been able to offer Rides to care home residents.
So, would you, or any older people you know, enjoy a ride in ‘Trixie’ to Rowntree Park with our friendly volunteers?
For all enquiries, please contact Julie Kay, Cycling Without Age Rides Coordinator, by email to julie.yorkbikebelles@gmail.com, or call 07889 573217.
Ride referrals are open until the end of August 2022. You can make a referral on behalf of someone else, or you can refer yourself (self-referral) by completing our Confidential Referral Form.

What are the Cycling Without Age Nature Rides?

The Cycling Without Age Nature Rides are a simple but brilliant idea. Volunteers offer free, comfortable Rides into Rowntree Park and other green spaces in a special electric-assist rickshaw with a passenger seat for two up front. The rickshaw is affectionately called ‘Trixie’ 🙂
We offer a series of three free Rides per passenger. Rides take place on weekends, and last up to an hour. They start and finish at Cycle Heaven cafe in Hospital Fields Road, Fulford. If passengers have difficulties getting to Fulford, we may be able to arrange Rides starting from a community venue elsewhere in the city.
You can ride with a family member, friend or carer, or can request a volunteer Companion from us to join the Ride. The Ride usually travels along a lovely traffic-free green route – from Cycle Heaven, across the river at the Millennium Bridge, and around Rowntree Park. We can also take you on a Ride to other green spaces within easy reach of Cycle Heaven, such as the University Grounds, the Knavesmire or Hob Moor. The Ride pauses regularly so you can enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and feel of nature around you.
All community enquiries are welcome. A Ride may especially suit you if you have restricted mobility, and don’t get out or meet as many people as you would like.

What are the benefits of going on a Nature Ride?

After a Ride, you will feel happier, and better in yourself, with a renewed sense of wellbeing. A Ride enables you to get outside for an hour in friendly company, and have a lot of fun! You’ll enjoy moving through the wonderful green spaces of York in the fresh air. You’ll discover a new mobility, companionship and connection with the delights of nature and community life. Overall, it’s a positive, joyful, and exhilarating experience!
We have been offering Rides to residents of care homes in York since 2018. Listen to the Voices of staff and residents from Chocolate Works Care Village (who love the Rides!), or read some of the stories from previous passengers on our main Cycling Without Age Rides pages.
This year, our new Nature Rides also offer a chance to tune into nature, with all the additional health and wellbeing benefits that brings. Research shows that if you are more connected with nature, you have better mental wellbeing. You are happier and more satisfied with life, have more vitality, and feel your life has greater meaning and purpose.
“Nature is an important need for many and vital in keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy.”(Mental Health Foundation Report 2021).
The Rides may also have particular benefits for those experiencing social isolation, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

Who are behind the new Nature Rides?

The Rides are a YBB innovation for 2022, made possible thanks to funding from the Humber, Coast and Vale Green Social Prescribing Programme (GSP Programme) from the Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership until October 2022.
The GSP Programme is one of seven “test and learn” sites across the UK. These are examining how local community organisations can support more people’s physical and mental wellbeing through outdoor and nature-based activities, and how this work can be embedded into healthcare systems.

Thank you

Trixie is stored at Cycle Heaven bike shop on Hospital Fields Road, Fulford. A sincere thank you to the team at Cycle Heaven for their continued support.

YBB Programme 2022

Cycling Without Age Nature Rides are part of our free programme of walking, cycling and nature activities, communications and volunteering for York residents, all year round. We arrange additional 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 for 2022.

Can you help our Cycling Without Age Nature Rides grow?

YBB relies on grants, donations and sponsorship to fund our work. Your donation will enable us to offer Rides to more older people and make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the York community. You can donate here.