WHO WE ARE
Cycling Without Age is a global movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen. 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.
About the Vancouver Chapter
Founded in the spring of 2018 with our community partner BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation), we purchased our first trishaw in the spring of 2019 and our second trishaw arrived spring 2020. Our primary ride area is around the West End, Yaletown, False Creek and West Side of Vancouver. We work with community partners which include: senior centres, senior care homes, recreation centres, and partner organizations supporting the elderly.
Photo March 2019 – the CWA Vancouver team meet Ole Kassow, the Copenhagen-based global founder
To break the elderly free from social isolation. Make them smile. Make new memories. And let them be part of society again and thereby renew their appetite for life itself. We give them the right to wind in their hair. We aim to reach and improve the lives of the elderly and disabled by making nursing homes a place of joy and continued mobility. We believe that life can and should be beautiful even if you’re close to 100 years.
HOW IT WORKS
Volunteers (pilots) sign up to pilot the trishaws (ride) the elderly as often or as rarely as they want to. Each chapter organizes its own operations and works with the volunteers in their community. Click here for a list of BC and Canadian CWA chapters.
CWA is less about volunteering in the traditional sense of the word, and more about active citizenship. Citizenship is driven by a desire to get involved and to make a real difference for someone. It’s about creating relationships between people.
Consider being a donor. Cycling Without Age Vancouver operates through the kindness of our donors and grants. Donations can be given through our partner BEST at Canada Helps.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
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.
Cycling Without Age Facts As of March 2020:
- Invented in 2012 in Copenhagen
- Represented in 50 countries
- 2,200 chapter locations
- 3,000 trishaws
- 33,000 trained cycle pilots
- Over 1.5 million people served
- Oldest pilot is 90 (Jørgen Hass, Denmark) and oldest passengers (Madam Yeo Iu, Singapore, and Dagny Carlsson, Sweden, both 107)
Photo September 2018 – Streets Alive! On the Arbutus Greenway with our partner BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation)
Photo August 2019 – False Creek
CWA Vancouver 2021:
- Covid update – we continue to follow the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and updates from Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer.
- March 2021 – our trishaws are getting tuned up with our community bike partner Union Street Cycle, and we are working with our senior care partners to see what a summer 2021 ride season might look like.
- Check back for updates and follow us on Instagram @cwa_vancouver
Photo Stanley Park May 2020 – with Directors Elliott Smart, Jennifer Chen with her daughter, and Jennifer Reid
CWA Vancouver 2018- 2020 milestones:
- November 2018 – Seniors Safely Cycling was awarded People’s Choice at HUBBUB
- January 2019 – secured financial support from the City of Vancouver
- March 2019 – partnered with Better Environmentally Sound Transportation
- June 2019 – received our first trishaw from Triobike
- June 2019 – presented at the BC Active Transportation Summit
- June 2019 – offered promo rides at the West End Seniors’ Network Strawberry Festival
- July 2019 – launched weekly rides with members of the West End Seniors’ Network
- July 2019 – promoted at SUCCESS Walk With The Dragon
- August 2019 – participated with WESN at the 2019 Pride Parade
- September 2019 – exhibitor at the North Shore Seniors’ Health Expo
- September 2019 – community PoP Up Creekside Community Recreation Centre
- October 2019 – exhibitor at the Kits House Autumn Fair
- November 2019 – nominated for the Small Business BC Community Impact Award
- January 2020 – our first Newsletter is published
- March 2020 – our second trishaw arrived from Van Raam
- March 2020 – official registration in BC as the Vancouver Cycling Without Age Society
- October 2020 – Global News B.C. volunteers make sure voters get to polls
- November 2020 – Vancouver Cycling Without Age Society is now a registered charity
How You Can Help Us
BE A DONOR
We’re looking for generous financial donors to help us with the operational costs of Cycling Without Age Vancouver, or in-kind donors to provide items or services of need.
BE A PARTNER
Whether you’re a community centre or a retirement home, Cycling Without Age Vancouver would love to work with your staff to design a regular program of rides, routes, and schedules. Let us take your seniors for a ride and give them the opportunity to feel the wind in their hair. Our partners include:
- Broadway Lodge
- Britannia Community Centre
- Chalmers Lodge
- Collingwood Neighbourhood House
- Creekside Community Recreation Centre
- Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
- Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre – Engine 374
- West End Seniors’ Network (WESN)
- Windermere Care Home
- And our cycle partner Union Street Cycle.
BE A PILOT
Sign up to take passengers for rides and encourage them to share their stories. Fill in our Pilot Application link and please note, we are not currently operational (March 2020 to current). We will be in touch with applicants in April or early May 2021 with Information Session dates to learn more about our pilot training program.
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.
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.
Cycling Without Age Vancouver