We hope we get to meet you in person, but here we are virtually!
Sheridan Piggott (on the right)
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 12 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.
Have a passion for making a difference to places and neighbourhoods, through tackling inequality and driving positive change. I am a keen cyclist and believe in walking and cycling as a vital way of promoting good health while tackling the growing threat of climate change.
I am a team player who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. I bring leadership, focus, energy and strategic thinking to all working situations.
Kathryn Blore (at the back)
I started to cycle again when I moved to York in 2015. I left my company car so I needed a quick, flexible way of travelling around. I tried public transport but found it took me nearly 2 hours to get home. I looked at cycling and found it would take 45-50 minutes – it was a no-brainer. Now I commute to work daily which is a round trip of 10 miles. It’s improved my fitness, my asthma, my well-being and my bank balance. I joined York Bike Belles to support and encourage new cyclists.
I got my first bike as a toddler and it fast become my most prized possession. As a kid I spent hours and hours cycling around in red dungarees and polishing my bike.
I’ve worked in social justice for over 20 years in London and Brisbane, Australia and a recent move to York introduced me to York Bike Belles where I accessed the bike buddy scheme and they’ve not been able to shake me off since. Now with a new baby myself there’s a whole new area open to me in child carrying cycling equipment – so the fun and learning never stops!
Now, where can I get my baby some of those red dungarees…
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 the Graduate Intern for York Bike Belles. This is a fantastic position focusing on the engagement and communications side of the Bike Belles, in a city which I have got to know very well over my university career, and absolutely love. I really enjoy both walking and cycling – activities that I have grown up doing with family and friends.
I believe that it is important to engage the York community with walking and cycling – activities which are hugely positive for the mind and body and can have such a great impact on a person’s wellbeing. Not only that but I think that it’s important that we promote a greener York! It is brilliant that the Bike Belles encourage people to get active, regardless of factors like age and ability, and I am loving being involved!
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!