Cycling Without Age
The right to wind in your hair!
Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw. It wasn’t long before he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents. Since then, Cycling Without Age has become an international movement that gives seniors the right to wind in their hair, to experience and connect with their community by building relationships and sharing their story.
Click here to learn more about Ole’s story:
Generosity: Cycling Without Age is based on generosity and kindness. It starts with the obvious generous act of taking one or two elderly or less-abled people out on a bike ride. It’s a simple act that everyone can do.
Slowness: Slowness allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment and it allows people you meet along the way to be curious and gain knowledge about Cycling Without Age because you make time to stop and talk.
Storytelling: Elderly people have so many stories that will be forgotten if we don’t reach out and listen to them. We tell stories, we listen to stories on the bike and we also document the stories when we share them via word of mouth or on social media.
Relationships: Cycling Without Age is about creating a multitude of new relationships: between generations, among the elderly, between pilots and passengers, nursing homes employees and family members. Relationships build trust, happiness and quality of life.
Without Age: Life does not end when you turn 75. Life unfolds at all ages, young and old, and can be thrilling, fun, sad, beautiful and meaningful. Cycling Without Age is about letting people age in a positive context – fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead when interacting in their local community.
In 2016, High River Family & Community Support Services, in partnership with the High River Senior’s Collective and Our High River, applied for the New Horizons for Seniors grant issued by the Government of Canada. In February of 2017, the Town of High River was the successful recipient of $25,000 to use in implementing the Cycling Without Age project. High River is now proud to own two trishaw bicycles that are being used to provide opportunities for seniors and those with limited mobility to experience riding as a passenger with a volunteer cycling pilot.
The project complements the Town’s ‘People First’ mandate as the front-facing carriage provides the opportunity for storytelling and conversation between volunteers, seniors and other community members they meet during the ride.
High River’s Cycling Without Age project also includes two more elements that support seniors’ participation in cycling and active transportation in High River.
Stationary bicycles have been donated by the High River Senior’s Collective and are now located at the Bob Snodgrass Recreation Complex. These look to support seniors in developing or re-developing their skills in cycling and can be accessed free of charge for anyone in the community with seniors having first priority.
There is also High River’s bicycle donation program led by volunteer Bruce Beauchamp, who repairs donated bicycles and donates them back to individuals in need in the community. This program will allow seniors who are ready to get back on a bike access to a free or low cost bicycle.
Contact Bruce Beauchamp
403-815-4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rides leave from the Charles Clark Medical Centre, Community Care at the High River Hospital, The Medicine Tree Manor and Seasons High River. Your pilot is excited to tour you through High Rivers beautiful pathway system for a ride that is approximately one hour long. Along the way, you may stop to watch children playing at the park, grab a treat or enjoy the beautiful scenery that High River has to offer.
The trishaws come equipped with an electric assist motor to help the volunteers pedal up hills, as well as a weather hood, rain and wind proof blanket to keep our passengers comfortable and warm. The trishaws accommodate 1-2 passengers
If you are at least 18 years of age and enjoy pedaling a bicycle slowly, consider becoming a Cycling Without Age Pilot and help spread happiness among nursing home and assisted living residents in High River.
Before being accepted into the program, Trishaw pilots must complete two hours of orientation/training with a trained instructor and complete a criminal record check. Pilots need to be available at various times including during the day, evenings and weekends.
As a volunteer pilot, you will provide people who cannot ride a bicycle the thrill of new adventures, the experience of seeing nature up close, and a new way to connect with others and share stories while riding along neighborhood streets, bike paths, and the Happy Trails.
As long as you are at least 18 years of age, are physically capable of riding a bike with a passenger Trishaw, and have a desire to help others, then there is plenty of space for you in our program.
There are also non-pilot volunteer opportunities such as, greeting riders at locations along their trip, assisting with scheduling and administration, and representing the program at the High River Farmers’ Market or other public appearances.
Click here for Pilot Training information