Cycling Without Age Rides

Cycling Without Age pedals into York!

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So that everyone can feel the wind in their hair from a bike!

Latest news – September 2019

We are delighted to have received a Community Fund grant from the National Lottery to make our Cycling Without Age rides more inclusive by developing a new programme of rides for at least 3 more ‘affordable’ housing schemes/ care homes in the south of York, with a new paid Team Member until May 2020. Scroll down this page for more information about our rides and the international Cycling Without Age movement.

There are ongoing Volunteer Pedaller opportunities at https://yorkbikebelles.community/about/join-the-team/pedallers/. Next training will be in January/ February 2020.

You can read some stories and interviews with Cycling Without Age passengers over the last few months below:

Kath enjoys rides to the park

Joyce’s freedom!

Barbara enjoys the lovely fresh air

And check out the great York Press feature and That’s York TV video.

You can even visit Trixie the Cycling Without Age rickshaw, who has a home on the shop floor at Cycle Heaven (behind the stairs), although she may be out and about as she does prefer the outdoors 😊. And we must put on record a sincere thank you to the brilliant team at Cycle Heaven for their ongoing care of Trixie and the Pedallers!

Finally, if you see us cycling around York on Trixie – she is like a big red and cream sofa on wheels, and usually has two passengers on the sofa with someone pedalling behind – do give us a wave!

What is Cycling Without Age? 

Cycling Without Age is a simple but brilliant idea. With the help of a special electric-assist bike with a passenger cab for two out front, community Pedallers offer free, comfortable rides to older, less mobile folk who may not get out as often as they’d like. All ride together on fun, cycling excursions into the countryside and around the city.

Cycling Without Age is an international movement that started in Copenhagen in 2012 and has now spread to 41 countries around the world. It has taken off in the UK over the last year, following the amazing video from a Scottish project, which understandably went viral.

We are delighted to be able to bring this to York and to be official affiliates of the movement. We will be following the Cycling Without Age original and wonderful principles of active citizenship, bringing generations closergenerosity and kindness, slowing down, telling and listening to stories, creating new relationships and the right to enjoy life on a bike and the wind in your hair, no matter how old you are. Look out for the international Cycling Without Age brand in our work!

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Everyone has a great time! Older folk enjoy getting out more, fresh air, contact with the natural world and interacting with community life and companionship. Community Pedallers enjoy the same and the company of older folk and their stories, and have great fun pedalling people around.

Cycling Without Age creates a world where we can tangibly grow happiness – with the simple act of connecting generations to each other, the outdoors and the local community, on a bicycle ride.

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And here are some of the brilliant Pedallers!

Dan Croxen-John, CEO of AWA digital
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In February 1994 my grandmother wrote to me. I was living in Italy, teaching English and I had recently returned to Bari after my grandfather’s funeral. The letter from my grandmother was about how lonely she felt after losing her husband of 48 years and what life was like for her. My gran and I shared a real connection and it was extremely hard to read about unhappy she was. Since then I have done a number of small things to help other older people who are experiencing loneliness. Being a befriender for AgeUK and being a driver for Contact The Elderly have offered me a chance to become involved and do what I can. This year business has been better than expected and we have been in a position to fund the purchase of a Trio Bike that can be used to take out older people who may be feeling lonely, who would like to ‘feel the wind in their hair’ again.

Peter Morris

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Peter has cycled for many years and his trips include adventures into Europe but he remembers most cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats over the course of nine consecutive days. He has since followed this up by completing two versions of the famous and challenging Haute Route across The Alps and enjoyed pedalling Ireland from end to end following the Wild Atlantic Way. Peter is looking forward to sharing his enjoyment of cycling with you so that you too can feel the freedom this brings. A family man Peter is married with two children and whilst he hails from the north east he has successfully made his home and career in Yorkshire but nevertheless enjoys watching Newcastle United from time to time.

Nick Jones

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I’ve led a chequered life, initially working for charities and various departments of local government, and from 2007 teaching Philosophy at the University of York. I retired in 2018, and now split my time between several voluntary projects and trying vainly to improve my saxophone, flute and clarinet playing. Cycling Without Age helps us all, passengers and pedallers, to get a breath of fresh air and combines three things I enjoy – cycling, exploring the city, and chatting to interesting people.

Simon Watterson

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Hi I’m Simon.  I live in York but work across York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding as a Marketing and Communications Manager for Your Consortium – an organisation that groups charities and social enterprises together to deliver programmes in local communities.  I’m married to Amanda and I have a grown up daughter Rosie.  I want to be a pedaller because it sound like a great way to meet new people, get a bit more exercise and give a helping hand (or feet…) to a great idea.  I’ve got a bit of cycling experience but I’m looking forward to the challenge of navigating Trixie through York.

Peter Hodgson

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Born and raised in North Yorkshire, I moved to London aged 18 to attend university followed by a career in event management. Returning to York in 2017, I now work part time doing events and run a guesthouse, welcoming guests from all over the world to our amazing city. I’m also actively involved in the local community and enjoy meeting people, having fun, whist hopefully making a difference.

Emily Tupper

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My name is Emily and I am a 2nd year PhD student in the anthropology department at Durham University. Though I live in Durham, I spend a fair bit of time on the East Coast mainline, going backwards and forwards between York and Newcastle as part of my PhD fieldwork, which investigates practices and processes of health and citizenship in the charity “GoodGym.” I heard about Cycling without Age through GoodGym and I was keen to get involved, hopefully as part of my research too! In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis and basketball, spending time outdoors, and catching up with friends and family. I am not a “serious” cyclist but have used bikes for years as a mode of transport.  I am excited about helping people get out in the fresh air on a bike!

John Bourton

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I’m John. I’ve been cycling since the age of 11 and particularly enjoy cycle touring. I’ve lived in York for many years though I’m originally from the West Country. My wife Sally and I are now both retired and are kept busy volunteering with a number of charities. I am a member of GoodGym and enjoy working in the community. Cycling Without Age is a brilliant idea and I’m really enjoying helping folk get outside and feel the wind in their hair!

Joanne Abbott 

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I have lived in the York area most of my life, with time away to attend University in Hull and short periods of working in Derby and then London. I have worked in the Voluntary Sector in York for the last 21 years, the last 5 of those years were as Head of Finance for York CVS.

I love getting involved in all sports and particularly those outside in the fresh air. I enjoy playing tennis for the village tennis club, playing golf with my husband and friends, family skiing holidays with our 2 daughters and of course cycling around the country lanes near where I live.

When I read that the Cycling Without Age project was coming to York I jumped at the chance to volunteer. I wanted to be able to help to give people the chance to get out and about and enjoy the outdoors.

Anna Wood

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My name is Anna. When I heard about cycling without age I was really impressed. I thought it was great to be able to combine cycling, meeting new people and working towards a varied and satisfying experience for both pedaller and passenger sharing the joy of life in all its fullness.

We were able to bring Cycling Without Age to York thanks to the generous start-up sponsorship of Dan Croxen-John, CEO of AWA Digital (see profile above) and our own volunteer capacity.

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