Rachel starts cycling to work – with confidence!

Rachel lives in Heworth and works as lead Chaplain at York Hospital. When she first approached us, she had never ridden a bike before and was keen to start cycling to work. She was looking forward in particular to feeling the “fresh air on her face” after a day behind a face mask.

Here’s Rachel’s story:

“Since moving to York 4 years ago it has been on my mind to learn how to cycle. However, with trying to settle into a new city and the busyness of my work at the hospital I never got round to it.

Lockdown changed all that! A special holiday to celebrate a special birthday was cancelled. However, I was determined to do something positive with my disappointment so I decided to buy a bike. At first, I tried to teach myself to ride but when you have never learnt to cycle as a child it is unbelievably difficult! I kept falling off! I found some instructions on the website and started to take it step by step- trying to balance and push myself and eventually managed to pedal a little. However, I couldn’t master the brakes and was still prone to falling off on a regular basis.

It was then that York Bike Belles’ Cake Confidence stepped in and sorted me out.

Everyone was extremely helpful and patient and very generous with their time. Over 4 weeks, I made huge strides and managed to master the brakes and started to feel that I was in control of the bike rather than the other way round! 

Helen, the cycle trainer, had confidence in my ability and stretched me, even taking me on a few quiet roads as well as helping me to cope with other cyclists on the cycle paths. Amy, Cake Confidence coordinator, ‘buddied’ me, emailed me, encouraged me and helped me to reach my goal of being able to cycle to the hospital from our house.

I can now cycle with much more confidence and I am actually starting to ‘enjoy’ it. Thank you so much. I am so grateful for your support and encouragement!”

Rachel is pictured above achieving her goal and reaching the Hospital, and with Amy on a practice ride.

You can find out more about the Cake Confidence start cycling scheme here. Finally, we rely on donations and grants to fund our work. You can donate at https://yorkbikebelles.community/donate/.

#cakeconfidenceworks #lifesbetterbybike