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)

**UPDATE: Our Nature Rides for all the community are on hold until we secure continuation funding. Please email to be put on a waiting list. If you can help financially, donations are always appreciated.**

What are Cycling Without Age Nature Rides?

Enjoy a free, comfortable Ride into lovely green spaces with our friendly volunteers!
Cycling Without Age Nature Rides are a simple but brilliant idea. Volunteers offer free, comfortable Rides into Rowntree Park and other green spaces in two special electric-assist Triobike Taxis, each with a passenger seat for two up front. Rides last up to an hour. They start and finish at Cycle Heaven cafe in Hospital Fields Road, Fulford, New Earswick Folk Hall, or at 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 traffic-free green route into green parks and spaces. For example, from Cycle Heaven, Rides go across the river at the Millennium Bridge, and around Rowntree Park, or to 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. If you wish to refer or self-refer, please complete our Confidential Referral Form….

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!). And do 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 have particular benefits for those experiencing social isolation, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.

How did our 2022 passengers feel after their Nature Rides?

Jenny said:
“I felt so free during the rides. I was wrapped up in the snuggly blanket and felt like royalty being taken around all the different locations. Each ride had a special moment, from the ride around Rowntree’s Park following a squirrel, the ride across campus and seeing a tiny rabbit eating an apple to the final ride to railway pond and watching the dragonflies and fish in the sunshine.
I am so thankful for those experiences and just wish I could do it more!
ME/CFS impacts every part of your life and has a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Being outside, feeling the breeze, regardless of weather, with someone other than my caregiver was wonderful. I got to have this experience independently, on my own, without my husband having to be there, which is such a rarity; I really can’t describe how that feels. I felt like a weight had lifted, even briefly, and I was able to just enjoy the experience.
I was fatigued afterwards but it was worth it for the snippets of joy I held on to from the rides. I am forever grateful.”
Rosie and David said:
“Our ride was very informative, interesting and very enjoyable, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about the local area. A very comfortable ride. Our volunteer Pedaller, Ed, was caring, careful, great company and mindful of others around. A great way to spend an hour. Even though I’m registered partially sighted, it was still a great experience, Ed took time and patience to explain everything around us, so I didn’t miss out.
A brilliant activity, enabling less able people and older people to get out in the fresh air, experience their surroundings and have fun. My husband and I rate the whole experience 10+. Thank you so much to one and all.”

Who are behind the new Nature Rides?

The Rides are a YBB innovation and pilot 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 November 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

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. 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.

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 people of all ages with restricted mobility and make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in York. You can donate here.