Hornbeam JoyRiders supports people to overcome barriers preventing them from cycling, especially women and other groups under-represented in cycling.
We started in January 2017 by inviting a few women who lacked confidence in cycling to come on a bike ride, and soon discovered that there is a significant, growing demand for support to help women start cycling.
Increase diversity in cycling by providing support for women, families and groups who are traditionally less likely to cycle
Help women to build their confidence and empower themselves through cycling
Create opportunities for new social connections between different communities
Provide support for all communities to benefit from improved cycling infrastructure in Waltham Forest
Increase access to local green spaces, helping people to explore the Lea Valley, Marshes, Olympic Park and Epping Forest.
We deliver led rides for novice cyclists, organise group training and train up a new generation of Ride Leaders so that we can build a network of groups organising their own led rides in partnership with local schools and organisations.
Through our work with other local initiatives such as Cycle Sisters and Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy’s FECycle Club, we have developed a network of over 80 female cyclists since Spring 2017, most of whom were new to to cycling and are now passionate about cycling!
“Being part of JoyRiders has opened up a large social circle for me, within a community that I would have not otherwise had the opportunity to engage with. It’s benefitted my daughter in her friendships at school, that I’ve been able to understand the culture of their families and engage with their parents. I have meet so many amazing women, that I wouldn’t have been confident to speak with before and I’m grateful to be truly part of the diverse community of Waltham Forest.” Camilla, volunteer Ride Leader
What we’ve achieved:
Ride Leader training for 13 people from ethnic minority/Muslim backgrounds
67 Cycle Skills trainees from ethnic minority communities (predominantly female)
48 women-only led rides with 76 unique participants (Cycle Sisters and Hornbeam JoyRiders)
7 family rides with an additional 88 unique participants
7 ‘Brothers’ rides for Muslim men and children with 20 participants
At least 35 participants/trainees have since bought their own bikes and started cycling independently
National Standards Instructor training for 2 people from ethnic minority/Muslim backgrounds with a 3rd starting work
Establishment of Hornbeam Community Cycling Forum
Women only and family rides are regularly over-subscribed
Weekly women only rides on Tuesdays in term time. All women welcome.
Bikes provided for those who need them (booking required)
Our rides are led by a diverse group of trained female volunteer Ride Leaders from local communities.
Rides start from Leyton Jubilee Park or Low Hall Depot at 9.15am and finish by 12 midday.
Our rides are designed for women to relax, enjoy themselves and take time out from the daily grind. We always stop at a cafe or park for some social time.
Two rides each month are an ideal next step for beginners who have just learned to ride, on quiet off-road scenic routes. Two rides per month are intermediate, on-road rides, ideal for those who can cycle but want to gain confidence on roads by riding in a led group.
Family rides during school holidays, in partnership with Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy.
A chance to build confidence in cycling with your children in a social setting with other families.
Supported by experienced volunteer ride leaders from local communities.
Dads and kids welcome!
Adult and kids bikes available (booking required), limited spaces.
All rides include a long cafe or picnic stop, usually in a park, and make use of local off-road routes.
Rides start and finish at Leyton Jubilee Park around 9.30am and finish by about 2pm.
We also work with Hackney Family Cycling Library and Carry Me Bikes, who loan family cycling equipment for our family rides – see below for details
Cycle Skills training at all levels including complete beginners and on-road training, in partnership with Cycle Confident. We have a growing number of female cycle instructors from local communities who specialise in training women. For more information or to book training please visit https://www.cycleconfident.com/sponsors/waltham-forest/ or
Support to participate in other led rides and cycling activities
We work closely with the award winning Cycle Sisters Muslim women’s cycle group, which rides every Wednesday in term time, usually from Waltham Forest Town Hall. We have supported Cycle Sisters by organising Ride Leader training for some of their regular participants who now regularly lead rides.
We helped to develop Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy’s FECycle Club, which organises regular rides for Muslim parents and families. FECA is a Walthamstow based Islamic Supplementary school.
Waltham Forest Council provides bikes for our cycle training and led rides and through its Cycle Training budget (funding Cycle Skills, Ride Leader and National Standards Instructor an First Aid training) Cycle Confident is our training provider. Training Ride Leaders and Cycling Instructors who are embedded in local communities enables us to reach and recruit people who wouldn’t normally consider cycling or cycle training.
We have teamed up with Carry Me Bikes and Hackney Family Cycling Library, the family cycling experts, who are running outreach sessions in Waltham Forest, loaning out equipment such as trailers, tagalongs and child bike seats and giving advice about how to cycle with young children. They also have some subsidised cargobike loans. Next sessions: Sunday 1st July in Leyton Jubilee Park, Wednesday 25 July in Lloyds Park.
How you can get involved:
Complete our survey about barriers to cycling. This will help us to gain a better insight into the barriers preventing people from cycling and what support is needed to overcome them, as well as providing evidence to help us raise funds for more led rides and training.
Complete our survey for those interested in led rides – when, where, how long, what support do you need to join rides? We hope to raise funds and build capacity to offer more rides, especially at weekends.
Join us on a ride! Booking via eventbrite.
If you are an experienced cyclist, volunteer to support our rides. We particularly need female cyclists who are available on weekdays. Email email@example.com
Are you a Muslim woman with concerns about how to cycle wearing an abaya or jilbab? Read this blog for ‘insider tips on how to cycle in Islamic dress’ by one of our Ride Leaders, or add your own tips in the comments section.
Would you like to cycle but need to learn? Book free training here – or for more information about what to expect from cycle training, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you be a Ride Leader?
If you are a competent, experienced cyclist and would like to volunteer to lead rides, please email email@example.com for more information or message us through Facebook.
We particularly need female cyclists available to lead or support rides on weekdays, and both male and female cyclists to help lead family rides in school holidays.
We can also provide Ride Leadership training in partnership with Cycle Confident and Waltham Forest (limited places available).
“ When the opportunity came to join a ride in August 2017 with Fatimah Elizabeth Cates Academy, where I am a teacher, I was really excited and put my name down not knowing what to expect. I had not ridden a bike since I was a child.
“I met Carolyn for the first time at the practice session who recruited a volunteer and a cycle confident instructor to help. I was surprised that as soon as I got on the bike I could ride straight away, by the end of two hours I was riding confidently and so were the other ladies. Everyone was so nice and supportive very patient and extremely kind. We all felt felt confident and entered the family bike ride organised by Hornbeam.
On the actual day it was very sunny and there were fifty of us to ride a short and long route. I had opted for the short route. There was a great atmosphere and I felt really happy and excited to be there. Carolyn’s whole family were there and some volunteers to support us during the bike ride. It was nice to see colleagues, parents and children from the school and my son had come too.
“We all started the ride together it felt really fantastic to be part of a team and a great form of encouragement. We rode through places I had never seen before or knew existed in Waltham Forest. There was lovely greenery and a river, I saw horses and people canoeing. As a driver I could see the cyclists point of view now and it felt good. People were really patient as they waited for us to pass and very friendly. I had chosen to ride the short route but my own enthusiasm and the whole atmosphere convinced me to take the long route. We ended up in the park for a lovely picnic. I felt really relaxed and felt great satisfaction that I had cycled this far. I really did not want this day to end, it was perfect. I felt free and joyous on the bike and it brought back good childhood memories.
“I had such a wonderful time and am so happy that I was given this opportunity and took it. I would say to anyone especially women that you can do it too. If you get the chance just try it. I feel really lucky and it has been a great inspiration to myself as a person. I will now continue to ride whenever the opportunity arises. I would like to say a big thank you to Hornbeam and to FEC Academy for making one of my wishes come true. “
Shenaz, who now rides regularly with Cycle Sisters and JoyRiders and has completed her level 2 (on road) cycle skills training. She hopes to get her own bike next.
We will be celebrating female cycling by profiling the many women riders and supporters of cycling, both within and outside of Cycling UK. The 100 Women in Cycling will be women who inspire others to take up the activity but who may not be well-known by the world at large.
Sun 22 April, 4-8pm (note later start time than previously advertised).
Join Walthamstow’s first fully vegan cafe and celebrate good food and good people.
Meet the new chefs. Eat the food. Find out the amazing things the Hornbeam does. Family Friendly drop-in. 4-8pm.
You can also bring along some vinyl and spin some tunes with Patrick Steele leading Open Decks. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never DJed – now’s your chance to take control of the music!
We’ll also be showing the Hornbeam JoyRiders / Cycle Sisters short film and sharing info about all the exciting things going on at the Hornbeam and Learning Lodge generally, as well as keeping you fed with scrumptious tasters.
WEEKEND OPENING is 10am-3.30pmfor food, cafe open till 5pm (including Easter Weekend, but closed as normal on Monday).
Full menu available, plus all day vegan brunch for just £8 on Saturday.
Sundays we will be serving brunch from 10-12 and then rolling over into our Vegan Roast with all the trimmings for £9.95 from 12.00-3.30pm.
Menu to change with the seasons.
Introducing our new chef Lucy…. Lucy Johnson joins us from the Wulf and Lamb, having also been Head Chef for the ‘Real Junk Food Project‘, among others, in Sheffield. Some of you may have enjoyed her food at one of our Veganuary Hornbeam Nights supper-clubs. Check out her fantastic vegan cooking blog Edible Ethics .
She joins Frankie Ebdon who has cooked at the Hornbeam for over a year and between them they are cooking up some wonderful treats.
This exciting part-time role (24.5 hours, expected to rise to 28) exists to coordinate the many community, low cost living and sustainability projects happening under the Hornbeam umbrella, both grant-funded and enterprise, and is a great opportunity for someone who has experience and passion for innovative community work.
It will not be the post holder’s role to deliver everything, but it will be their role to communicate, inspire and help organise those making things happen in our E17-based Hornbeam Cafe and Centre and our E4-based Hornbeam Learning Lodge in the Pimp Hall Nature Reserve.
All projects come under our Low Cost Living initiative, which seeks to facilitate and engage people in activities that support them to reduce their costs of living, including financial, health and environmental costs.
Current and planned activities and projects include Food Rescue, Healthy Eating, community development, JoyRiders Cycling Project, volunteer coordination, management of the Hornbeam Centre, and support to the Hornbeam cafe and Hornbeam Learning Lodge E4.
The person we are looking for will need excellent communication, administrative and financial skills and experience working in a community organisation. They will be able to deal with all the challenges and excitement that working in a small, vibrant organisation brings.
The Hornbeam Café is one of the longest running vegetarian cafes in London – recently turned fully vegan.
Our ethos is to support our local businesses as much as possible. This includes our coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. All our fresh ingredients are source as locally as possible, with most of our fruits and vegetables coming from local food enterprise Organiclea. We are also committed to a zero-waste policy with very minimal of our rubbish going to land fill.
We met the Crowdfunder target! Thank you so much everyone who donated or supported with time and energy.
More news shortly, just letting you know we met the target and Hornbeam Nights is going to be going from strength-to-strength supporting all you lovely people to put on amazing nights! Woo hoo!
Hornbeam Nights empowers aspiring chefs and budding musicians to engage within our diverse community. We support entrepreneurs and workshop facilitators who educate the community on important social and environmental issues.
Hornbeam Nights will be able to continue to host top notch evenings with a large sway of activism, entertainment & education, for a better community, environment & world. We will be able to keep giving to the community in the way the Hornbeam has been for many years, in an even more sustainable and supported way.