YORK residents were treated to a spectacular sight - a river of children on bikes as an entire school set off on a mass sponsored bike ride to Selby.

Every child from age 5-14 at York Steiner School 'got on their bikes' for the ride on Friday - with an army of parents and teachers by their side.

By the time they had completed the ride along the Sustrans Solar System cycle track the oldest children, who did the full route to Selby and back, had cycled 28 miles. Younger children only did part of the route.

The school's annual WOW (Waldorf One World) sponsored ride has been going since 2000, raising well over £40,000 so far.

Money raised from Friday's event will go to Jardim Do Cajuero school in Brazil, a Steiner school where most of the children come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Before they set off, children talked about their excitement at taking part.

“It’s so exciting to be riding with all my friends,” said 12-year-old Niamh Robinson from Class 7. “I’m not worried about being tired as I cycle a lot in York and I really like the Solar System route as I’m interested in space and love to see the planets on the way.”

York Press:

Niamh Robinson, second from right, prepares for the ride with her friends from Class 7 

The school has recently discovered it may be the only school in the UK to organize a ride on this scale. After doing some research, it hasn't been able to find any other examples of a 'whole school ride' on this scale.

“So many of our families cycle that a whole school bike ride is quite a natural way for us to raise money,” said Education Manager, Annabel Gibb. “We’re surprised to discover we may be rather unique!”

York council deputy leader Andy D’Agorne, who turned out on his bike to see to see the children off, said: “This is really special. York has a great record for encouraging our young people to cycle but I have never come across a school ride on this scale.".

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans director for the North of England, added: "It’s an incredible achievement to get so many children cycling from one school and it will really help to inspire other families to get active on their journeys."

York Press:

Cllr Andy D'Agorne, centre, at trhe start of the ride