If you are somebody that enjoys going out for a bike ride every once in a while, you aren’t alone. It’s loads of fun and great exercise but it’s also something that we tend to give up as we get older.
Thanks to the Cycling Without Age project, however, you don’t have to stop cycling now that you are elderly. It was started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Denmark. Kassow was interested in helping the elderly to get on a bike again, but it came about in a unique way.
When our mobility decreases, we tend to get off of the bike but Kassow wanted to make it possible for the elderly to enjoy cycling again.
At first, Kassow would take the elderly for a rickshaw ride, taking some of the residents from a local nursing home. As the project continued to grow, it was started in more than 38 countries.
Elderly individuals love getting out in nature but it can be difficult to get out when you have low mobility. They often are unable to leave their homes without the help of someone else, so driving to nature and enjoying it are rather difficult.
Thanks to Cycling Without Age, the elderly can now enjoy nature without having to worry about the hassle of doing it. Volunteers take their friends for a ride, allowing them to enjoy nature in a very unique way.
Volunteers such as Dutch Marion enjoy taking their parents out on these rides but eventually started taking other people.
Although there are similarities in the programs from one country to another, there are some differences as well. Volunteers in any country will have to sign up and follow the instructions of the person taking the lead, known as the ‘pilot’.
They learn about rickshaws and the benefits that are provided to the elderly. It’s one thing to ride a bike but quite another to ride a bike with someone else out front.
At first, volunteers ride rickshaws that are empty. They take the pilot for a ride first and then they get their real passengers.
There are unlimited numbers of rides and the elderly must make an appointment to enjoy it. Volunteers will even go to nursing homes to pick up passengers who are interested.
Worldwide there are 1100 chapter locations. 1500 rickshaws and 10,000 pilots are now enjoying giving such a treat to the elderly.