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.
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 for bike rides with the elderly as often or as rarely as they want to. It’s all driven by people’s own motivation.
CWA is less about volunteering in the traditional sense of the word, and more about active citizenship. Citizenship driven by a desire to get involved and to make a real difference for someone. It’s about creating relationships between people.
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 2019)
- Invented in 2012 in Copenhagen
- Represented in 42 countries worldwide
- 1,643 chapter locations
- 2,200 trishaws
- 29,270 trained cycle pilots
- 114,000 people served
- Oldest pilot is 90 (Jørgen Hass, Denmark) and oldest passenger 107 (Madam Yeo Iu, Singapore)
- Our trishaws cycle 2.8 million km a year or 70 times around the world
Find out how it all started in Copenhagen
About the Vancouver Chapter
Founded in the spring of 2018, we purchased our first trishaw in the spring of 2019. We continue to work with community partners fundraising for the purchase of more trishaws and designing cycling programs for the aging population.
Photo September 2018 – Streets Alive! On the Arbutus Greenway with BEST (Better Environmentally Sound Transportation)
CWA Vancouver 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 – 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
How You Can Help Us
BE A PILOT
Sign up to take passengers for rides and encourage them to share their stories. Fill in our Pilot Application link and we will be in touch with a date for a monthly Information Session to learn more about our ride 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.
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 participants for a ride and give them the opportunity to feel the wind in their hair. Our 2019 partners include: West End Seniors’ Network, Broadway Lodge Care Home and our cycle partner Union Street Cycle
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. Donate at Canada Helps
Cycling Without Age Vancouver
Meet Fraser and Mary from Scotland
This young Brit is taking your nan out for a ride.
Posted by BBC Three on Saturday, July 22, 2017