Join our friendly community!
Because everyday walking and cycling is the natural way to get around our beautiful city.
York Bike Belles has been working in York since 2014 and has directly engaged with over 10,000 people in that time and many more online. In a 2015 survey, 75% of respondents said contact with us encouraged them to increase their cycling levels. We were originally a project targeting women, delivered by Sustrans and funded by City of York Council’s i-Travel York programme. Funding for this project came to an end in mid-2016.
Our vision and ethos
In mid 2016, the core staff and champions from the project got together and decided to form an independent, volunteer-led community organisation, with a new inclusive ethos. Our vision is that everyday walking and cycling becomes the natural choice of transport across York, so that everyone can enjoy better health, well being and quality of life.
We offer a core, regular programme of cycling and walking support activities, all free of charge to the community. We have committed to continue our most popular and effective activities on a volunteer basis all year round to ensure the sustainability of essential cycling support in York, regardless of the external funding environment.
We are a fully-constituted community organisation, led by a management committee of local women and men passionate about increasing everyday walking and cycling in York.
We have a core delivery team who are trained in ride and walk leading, bike mechanics, first aid, engagement methods and who are all DRB-checked. Our work is people-centred and responsive to need. We pride ourselves in making all our activities safe, sociable, supportive and, above all, fun!
We have a focus on everyday walking and cycling journeys, encouraging those new to cycling, those looking to cycle for transport and perhaps go car-free. We target groups and communities currently under-represented in cycling, such as women, girls, parents of young children, older adults, those with low physical and emotional well being and lower income groups and communities. Our work is innovative, dynamic and continually developing. We continually look to integrate artistic activity and raise awareness of the value of nature, especially trees, into our practice. Our work has been recognised nationally – York Bike Belles #travelwithtots won a national award in 2016 for Excellence in Cycling from Modeshift.
We were invited to give a presentation in the House of Commons to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) about women and cycling. We feature as a “Story for Change” in the ground-breaking 2017 Zero Carbon Britain report.
In 2018, we will further develop our work on community placemaking and consultation projects to tactically pilot projects that physically improve York’s walk cycle infrastructure, public spaces and reduce traffic, such as pop up parks, murals and colourful crossings.
We pursue a culture of constructive collaboration and positive advocacy towards making York a better place for walking and cycling, a #cityforpeople. We work strategically across the city. We are an integral part of York’s community, working with multiple community partners, businesses and City of York Council. We are part of the new Walk Cycle Forum and on the leadership team for the exciting city-wide One Planet York movement – working to make York a more sustainable, resilient and collaborative city.
Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, i-Travel York, and sponsorship from Cycle Heaven and their suppliers, Madison, we will continue to deliver an exciting programme of walking and cycling activities in 2018, including our core activities of monthly walks, rides, cake confidence sessions, buddying, bike maintenance workshops and interactive social media and new projects with the Walk Cycle Festival 2018 and a Cycling Families programme. And we hope to bring Cycling Without Age to York in 2018. More details on here as these projects develop.
We are always looking for volunteers to help with our work. Check out http://www.yorkbikebelles.community/join-our-team for more info and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to become part of our friendly team.