We hope we get to meet you in person, but here we are virtually!
I am chair and curator of our group. I thoroughly enjoy a car-free lifestyle in York. Walking and cycling is central to my life – it brings together my love of movement, nature and social connection with the York community. I am known for my upright, apparently “graceful”, cycling style around town on my favourite Gazelle 🙂
I have been working professionally getting people into walking and cycling for over 13 years. I never tire of seeing the many benefits a walking cycling lifestyle can bring to individuals and the community – health, well-being, friendship, and that unquantifiable walking cycling zing!
I have been involved with Bikes Belles since its inception. I have always been a keen cyclist, from my very first bike at four years old, and I now cycle almost every day for commuting and leisure. I have lived in York for 20 years and my friends and colleagues are regularly shocked by my nerdy knowledge of places, roads and snickleways. I am always happy to provide advice about the best cycle-friendly rat-runs through the city and where to find the nearest bike shop or pub! I regularly help out on Bike Belles rides, and am always ready and equipped to help fix a puncture or straighten out a mudguard.
I am the granny of the group but don’t let age prevent me from enjoying the pleasures and benefits of cycling – exercise, fresh air, going new places, meeting new people and keeping up with old friends. I particularly enjoy the buddying role that I play – encouraging people (back) onto their bikes, showing them the many and varied cycling routes in and around York and enjoying seeing their confidence grow. I believe that individuals often need only a little encouragement to leave their car behind and get out to enjoy the pleasures of cycling – even if it is getting to work with the day’s exercise already half done.
I started cycling again for a simple reason – it gave me half an hour more in bed in the morning before going to work. It has given me so much more though. I love cycling through the year and seeing the seasons changing; the first snowdrops, the cherry blossom, the changing autumn leaves and the first Christmas decorations going up.
Through cycling, and the people who I have met, I have a much stronger sense of place and closer ties to community in which I live in. It has made me love, understand and appreciate the city more.
Cycling and walking have been my main modes of transport for over 10 years, as they help me feel more mentally and physically healthy, and also save me a lot of money.
I started with York Bike Belles as a student intern in 2015, then became a volunteer as I really enjoyed being part of the walking and cycling community around York. I now help with the promotion and delivery of our events. I enjoy working with families and seeing people’s confidence grow. I get to see and hear first hand what’s working and what people’s barriers are, so we can tailor our support to their needs.
I’m a trained ride and walk leader. My favourite rides are our themed events, such as our annual Spooky ride and Illuminating York ride – any excuse to dress up with fairy lights!
Helena Groom (left)
I joined York Bike Belles 3 years ago following an ankle injury. With their help and encouragement I now enjoy cycling in and around York. I am the secretary of the group on the committee and am also now a qualified ride leader.
I particularly like welcoming new members to the group and reassuring them, as I once had their fears.
I look forward to the evening rides. It’s great to get out on your bike with new and old friends after a long day at work . Watch out though as I am well known in the group for taking photos for our twitter and facebook pages!
Hello – I’m Angelika! Being as green as possible has always been my guiding principle. I have never owned a car and have always used bikes as my main form of transport.
When cycling I love to stop and talk to everybody’s dogs, and I find being on a bike makes you feel more grounded and connected to the world. I enjoy exploring our lovely city and its surroundings and discovering new short-cuts or routes with less traffic. It’s great to encourage others to find out about bike routes they may not be aware of, and to chat with other cyclists and random strangers about how we can continue to make our city greener and friendlier.
Cycling makes my life more fun; I love all kinds of cycling!
Cycling is good for your physical health, your mental health, the environment and your bank balance. The more people in a city that cycle the better for everyone who lives there! Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of it – especially in the beautiful city of York with the Moors, Wolds and Dales a on your doorstep?
I really enjoy showing people that cycling does not have to be difficult or complicated. You don’t need lycra. You don’t need carbon. You don’t need Strava or Garmin. There is room out there for all of us and we can all enjoy it and gain the benefits.
I joined the York Bike Belles team in November 2019 to work on Cycling Without Age. I love cycling around our beautiful city, sometimes with child trailer (aka Magic Sleep Machine), cargo trailer, or my son on his Follow Me Tandem. I’m looking forward to sharing cycling stories and memories with pedallers and passengers involved in the Cycling Without Age Rides.
Thomas Frere (in the middle)
I work in the Creative Arts industry, mostly as an actor, writer and director. Often this is in stuffy dark theatres and black boxes so, when possible, I love to get outdoors; usually working on my allotment or cycling around our beautiful city.
York Bike Belles gave me the chance to combine my two great passions of theatre and the outdoor life when they asked me to create a walk with characters for the 2017 WalkCycle festival culminating in a visit to a labyrinth I created in Museum gardens (yes, I do that as well:. https://thomasfrere.com/labyrinths/.) For the 2018 festival, I wrote and performed a Shakespeare walk along the beautiful riverside path in York.
Both these events, combining creativity and active, outdoor engagement seemed to inspire our audience and hopefully motivated them to get out and connect with us, nature and each other. As you can see by our beaming smiles after the Shakespeare walk, it also seemed to inspire us!
I used to live in York and enjoyed cycling around the city and its outskirts. I daydreamed about painting on the walls I passed for a long time before I actually did.
Thanks to a successful proposal I submitted to Bike Belles, I was invited to design and create several murals on the cycle paths around York.
With the Bike Belles Team and their wonderful volunteers, we have made art that reflects the strong community spirit in this city.
Its a pleasure to be part of such a great initiative. Thank you
Ned Hoste FRSA
With experience spanning more than 42 years as graphic designer and consultant, 33 of those running his own businesses, Ned’s work covers art direction, corporate product branding and identity, social networking and strategy combined with extensive experience in design for book publishing. He is a co-director of both the branding agency The Big Ideas Collective and daCunha.global.
Alongside multiple national and international clients, Ned also designs for York Bike Belles and the Walk Cycle Festivals.
Ned is partner to artist Alison Hepburn and proud Dad to his event designer daughter Katy Hoste. Ned walks about a marathon a week with his dog.