Cycling Without Age is a Danish 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 and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.
He then got in touch with a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought the first 5 trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and since 2015 to another 28 countries around the world.
One of those countries is Australia – Canberra launched the first Australian Cycling Without Age program in November 2016, with the help of a grant from IRT Foundation and in association with IRT, the ACT Government and the Danish Embassy in Australia.
Pedal Power ACT runs the program with volunteers sourced from our membership and students from the University of Canberra to recruit and train pilots for the trishaw bikes, which are maintained by the IRT Kangara Waters Men’s Shed.
The trishaws are stationed at IRT Kangara Waters seniors’ Lifestyle & Care Community, which manages a program of regular rides for older members of the community.
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.
Slow Cycling: Slow cycling 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.
How It Works
Volunteers (pilots) sign up for bike rides with the elderly through a simple booking system as often or as rarely as they want to. It’s all driven by people’s own motivation. More than 225 chapters around the world offer Cycling Without Age from well over 1,000 trishaws – and the numbers are still growing. More than 8,000 pilots ensure that the elderly get out of their nursing homes, out on the bikes to enjoy the fresh air and the community around them. They give them the right to wind in their hair.
To volunteer to become a Cycling Without Age pilot, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.