An uplifting ride for Sydney seniors
Local aged care residents will reconnect with the joy of riding, thanks to a program helping them explore Sydney by bike.
Grants from the City of Sydney and Woollahra Council have funded a third battery-assisted, custom-built trishaw (three-wheeled bike) to add to the Cycling Without Age fleet.
The social enterprise is part of a global organisation pairing volunteer guides with passengers from local aged care centres for scenic tours by trishaw.
Local bike group BIKEast will manage the new trishaw, which will travel between aged care homes including The Terraces at Paddington and give older residents the opportunity to connect with younger riders.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Cycling Without Age program helps residents of all ages keep active and engaged in the community.
“Cycling is a fast and cheap way to travel, and most importantly it’s fun, we’re always looking for ways to help people onto two, or three, wheels,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The City is linking Sydney’s bike network to create safe connections between neighbourhoods, and these new bikes will be a wonderful way for older residents to enjoy these new cycle paths, our city and the outdoors with friends.”
“I’ve witnessed firsthand some of the incredible new friendships created through Cycling Without Age between people riding and nursing home residents,” said Adrian Boss, CWA coordinator from BIKEast.
“With the new trishaw, we’ll be able to take residents on rides to explore the Sydney Opera House, The Botanical Gardens, the Domain, Rushcutters Bay Park and Centennial Parklands – all easily reached from local care homes.”
The Cycling Without Age program launched in 2012 in Denmark and runs in 37 countries around the world. Around 20 groups operate in Australia.
Speaking at the 2018 launch of the Montefiore program, visiting Cycling Without Age co-founder Dorthe Pedersen said: “What our passengers tell us they enjoy most isn’t the cycling, it’s the social aspect. It’s about moving slowly, seeing life at street level, interacting with neighbours and using your senses to take in the sights and sounds.
“The trishaw itself is a conversation starter – people want to know what it’s all about.”