Community 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)

Would you or any other older people you know or care for enjoy getting out and about in green spaces with our friendly volunteers?
For all enquiries, please contact Julie Kay, Cycling Without Age Rides Coordinator.
Email julie.yorkbikebelles@gmail.com, call 07889 573217 or complete our Confidential Referral Form.

What are the Community Nature Rides?

The Cycling Without Age Community Nature Rides are a simple but brilliant idea. Community volunteers offer free comfortable Rides to older, less mobile passengers in a special electric-assist rickshaw with a passenger cab for two up front. The rickshaw is affectionately called ‘Trixie’.
We offer a series of three Nature Rides per passenger. They usually take place on Thursday and Saturday afternoons, and last around an hour. They start from 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 in the south of the city.
Passengers can ride with a family member, friend or carer, or can request a volunteer Companion from us to ride with them. The Rides travel along green, traffic-free cycle routes and quiet roads, into parks and York’s best green spaces. The Nature Rides pause regularly so passengers can enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and feel of nature around them.
All enquiries are welcome. Because of our current funding, we are keen to welcome older/elder (65+) people with restricted mobility living in York.

What are the benefits of going on a Nature Ride?

After a Ride, passengers feel better in themselves, with a renewed sense of wellbeing. A Ride provides access to fresh air, and the wonderful green spaces of York, and offers mobility, freedom, companionship, reconnection with community life, and, overall, a positive, joyful and exhilarating experience!
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. We have been offering Cycling Without Age Rides to elder residents of care homes in York since 2018.
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 people who are more connected with nature have improved mental wellbeing. They are happier and more satisfied with life, with greater vitality, and they feel their lives have 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 Cycling Without Age Community Nature Rides are a YBB innovation for 2022, made possible thanks to funding from the Humber, Coast and Vale Green Social Prescribing Programme (GSP Programme) until November 2022.
The GSP Programme is one of seven “test and learn” sites across the UK, which 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.

YBB Programme 2022

Community Nature Rides are part of our free programme of walking, cycling and nature activities, communications and volunteering for York residents, all year round. We offer 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 Community 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 York. You can donate here.