New cycling program has Sidney seniors riding in style
A new volunteer-run cycling program aims to help seniors connect with their communities for free.
The Sidney-based Cycling Without Age Society pairs seniors and disabled people with a volunteer cycling “pilot.” The program offers people the chance to be on a bike and feel the “wind through their hair,” according to the non-profit group.
Similar to a rickshaw-style bike, the riders sit in front of the pilot and have a fantastic view as they travel.
The bikes are designed and manufactured in Denmark, the birthplace of Cycling Without Age. They are equipped with electric assist and can get people around comfortably.
“We provide rides to those who are less able to get out and be an active citizen in their community,” said society president Steve Duck. “We are helping put smiles on their faces.”
The goal of the program is to help end social isolation for less mobile people.
People who would like to get out for a ride can reach the Cycling Without Age Society by phone or email.
One of the volunteer pilots will pick them up at their home. They will then ride to one of the local beaches or into downtown Sidney. The rides last for about an hour and may include a stop for a cup of coffee and a cookie.
“It is all about a little fun and conversation,” said Duck. “I think about the joy we see on people’s faces when we do this and it is very rewarding.”
Duck says Sidney is an ideal location for the program and there has been a great deal of interest from those wanting to ride. There is only one bike on the road now but the society hopes to grow to six within the next five years.
For information on the program, to book a ride, or volunteer to become a pilot, visit the society’s website.