Cycling Without Age has to be one of the most exciting initiatives currently taking the Sunshine Coast by storm. Never heard of it? Cycling Without Age is only two weeks young and I am absolutely delighted to be able to tell you all about it.
Cycling Without Age is a not-for-profit community charity that connects those who are no longer able to ride on their own, with their community, by providing free outdoor rides on trishaw ebikes, piloted by volunteer cyclists. And the latest 'chapter' in the Cycling Without Age repertoire of locations in Australia, is our very own beautiful Sunshine Coast.
Initially established in 2012 in Copenhagen in Denmark, Australia welcomed their first trishaws in 2016 and today has more than sixty Cycling Without Age Affiliates and approximately thirty-five chapter locations. This absolutely amazing enterprise is already represented in forty-six other countries; has two thousand seven hundred trishaws and 31,500 trained cycle pilots. More than one million people have enjoyed the Cycling Without Age trishaws, with the oldest pilot being a 90 year old gentleman from Denmark and the oldest passengers, one from Singapore and one hailing from Sweden, both having reached the enviable age of 107.
A couch on wheels
The Sunshine Coast chapter of Cycling Without Age is proudly showing off with their two new trishaws, that are busily training volunteer pilots; assessing scenic, fun and safe routes to travel; plus most importantly, stopping to chat and making new friends, all while out and about on our spectacular coastal pathways.
How can I get involved?
How exciting will it be to become part of this very giving global movement right here on the Sunshine Coast. The pleasure you will experience at witnessing the joy of passengers coming back from their first ride, having had the wind in their hair, faces aglow and bubbling with 'new' stories. The interaction of passengers, the bike pilots and the community on the trishaw routes promote inclusivity, lessening the feelings of social loneliness, whilst renewing passengers' sense of self-worth.
Witness the joy of passengers on their first ride outdoors
To ensure the continuity of Cycling Without Age, there are three easy ways the public can become involved:
1. Become a pilot or an assistant volunteer Pilots are the volunteers that ride the trishaw bikes. As a pilot you can make all the difference within a rewarding community, whilst getting to meet new people, plus the added bonus: getting free exercise.
Assistant volunteers help out with the administration, bookings, loading and unloading of passengers as well as spreading the love about Cycling Without Age.
The trishaw ebike used by Cycling Without Age Australia is actually a trioBike Taxi with two passenger seats in the front. As this new-age bicycle is electric, it's as easy as one, two, three to learn how to use it and a moderate level of fitness is all that is required. After all, you will be getting super fit, if you plan on becoming a voluntary pilot for Cycling Without Age.
2. Financial Support Cycling Without Age Australia is a registered charity whose enthusiastic volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that Cycling Without Age remains a FREE service for passengers. The aim of Cycling Without Age is to experience the joy of being outdoors and part of a community, where cost does not become a prohibitive factor. However, as you can imagine, for this fabulous service to remain sustainable, financial support is needed. Donations can be made directly to Cycling Without Age Australia, online here.
If you would absolutely love to set up a new Chapter in your area, Cycling Without Age encourages becoming an Affiliate and tapping into their national and global movement of like-minded people. An Affiliate can be a nursing home, an organisation, a community group or an individual.
Contact Cycling Without Age on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For people who have mobility issues and their carers and/or family, Cycling Without Age is a delightful way to experience the joy of cycling outdoors together.
Have you spotted the Cycling Without Age trishaws out and about? If you do, please stop and say 'g'day' and perhaps have a chat. The success of this 'project' is dependant on the goodwill of Sunshine Coasters and I truly believe that we all have big enough hearts to make it happen and ... keep happening!
All images courtesy of Cycling Without Age, Sunshine Coast FB