We hope we get to meet you in person, but here we are virtually!
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 never tire of seeing the many benefits a walking and cycling lifestyle can bring to individuals and to the community – health and well-being, friendship, better quality of life and that unquantifiable walking cycling zing!
I manage York Bike Belles’ programmes overall, supported by the Board of Directors of York Bike Belles Community Interest Company (CIC). I have been working professionally getting people into walking and cycling for over 15 years, 7 of these in York. I have previously worked for national sustainable transport charity Sustrans, and as a Solicitor and Equalities Trainer.
I have always loved the outdoors – the wilder the better! I lived in Sheffield for 10 years and loved biking around the peaks (near the bottom of the peaks usually!). I have more recently discovered a love for cycling around a city and moving to York was a great place for this!
I have always been passionate about providing fun and accessible opportunities for people to get involved in activity and exercise and love seeing how happy it can make someone to discover a new love for being outdoors and exercising. For me, getting involved with York Bike Belles brought my love for meeting new people, cycling and cake all together!
I coordinate the Cake Confidence start cycling scheme. I have a professional background in the health sector as a physiotherapist. I am so looking forward to encouraging people to start getting back out in the community and having a lovely time.
I am a huge fan of walking and cycling. There are so many benefits for ourselves and our environment from these simple activities. I love the sheer pleasure of powering my own way through the world, experiencing the journey with all my senses. I enjoy long walks, exploring new places and climbing hills but perhaps gain more from walking and cycling the same routes regularly through the changing seasons and different times of day; noticing the new shoots and fresh scents, the blossoms and bird song, changing colours, quiet and stillness.
I have extensive professional experience of working with people of all ages and abilities in community and educational settings; as a drama and art practitioner, humanist celebrant and in supported housing. I’ve gained a lot of pleasure from working with older people; whether in practical support, creating stories, art or ceremony together, planting trees or teaching the benefits of mindfulness. I particularly enjoy inter-generational projects. I’m keen to be involved with work that provides opportunities for older people to connect with others and do activities that bring them joy. Coordinating the Cycling Without Age project in York is such a beautiful and exciting way to do this.
I have been a National Standard, now Bikeability, Cycling Instructor since 2004. I first took on the role to supplement my income from supply teaching. As my teaching career blossomed I’ve never wanted to stop doing cycle training. I like to think I’m a good role model for anyone who thinks they may not be able to cycle. I specialize in absolute beginners and nervous cyclists. I am incredibly patient and usually find with gentle persuasion I let people find their hidden cyclist.
As a lifelong cyclist I’ve always enjoyed the mix of fresh air, freedom & basic pleasure of bike riding itself. Having a chance to share that and some simple practical cycling tips with others and let them ‘into the secret’ of cycling is very rewarding; and to see the ‘Wow, this is fun!’ look on their faces!
I am a Bikeability National Standard Instructor and British Cycling qualified coach.
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 now a Director of York Bike Belles CIC. I have professional experience in IT and the business community in York.
Alison Holmes (on the right)
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 am now a Director of York Bike Belles CIC. I have had a diverse professional career in surveying and higher education, and have worked for a number of Universities in the UK and New Zealand.
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!
I am now a Director of York Bike Belles CIC. I have a research background in psychology and behaviour change theories.
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 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!
I am now a Director of York Bike Belles CIC. I have a background as a health care professional and currently work for Leeds Hospitals.
I am now a Director of York Bike Belles CIC. I am a trained ride leader and currently work in the care sector in York.
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.
Angelika now lives on a farm in Canada, but still supports us with Walking Book Group reading lists every month and regular emails with pictures of her wonderful animal friends.
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 am now a volunteer Pedaller for our Cycling Without Age Rides.
I volunteer to help lead the Walking Book Group. I love the way the Group brings people together. It has created a wonderful community of women supporting women in a non-judgmental setting, joined by a shared appreciation for walking, nature, the outdoors and reading.
The Group is of course open to everyone, and we would very much welcome men to join the community!
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.