Cycling Without Age is an international project that helps elderly and disabled people get out and about using volunteer-driven ‘trishaws’.
The initiative is looking to set up a new ‘chapter’ in Bridport this summer and a promotional trial run took place on Saturday morning. As part of this my wife and I were transported from West Bay at 9.45am, and were welcomed in the traditional way by Bridport’s amazing Town Crier, John Collingwood, when we arrived a few minutes later at Bucky Doo Square.
Apart from England winning their first game of their Euro campaign the highlight of my weekend was without doubt the Trishaw ride my wife and I enjoyed on Saturday morning from West Bay to Bucky Doo Square and back. The Trishaw is really comfortable and offers the passengers the opportunity to travel in style whilst taking in the scenery and best of all someone else is doing all the work behind you. We were really impressed by how quickly we were able to travel between West Bay and Bucky Doo, the electric bikes certainly help. The journey was over in no time at all and everyone we passed on route smiled, and cheered us on our way when they saw us.
Cycling Without Age – Bridport is raising money to buy it’s first trishaw and bring “miles of smiles” to our town. It is joining an international network of groups that involves trained volunteer pilots taking local elders and care homes residents out on ‘trishaw’ cycle rides to feel the wind in their hair and bringing generations closer together.
Here are a few facts about Cycling Without Age as of March 2021:
- Invented in 2012 in Copenhagen
- Represented in 51 countries
- 2,500 chapter locations
- 3,500 trishaws
- 35,000 trained cycle pilots
- Over 1.9 million people served
- Oldest pilot is 90 (Jørgen Hass, Denmark)
- Oldest passenger Edith Green, 108, from Bournemouth (sharply followed by youngsters Gerda Mathiasen, Dragør/Denmark, Madam Yeo Iu, Singapore, and Dagny Carlsson, Sweden, all 107)
The UK has a growing number of local chapters and Ammonite Healthcare Bridport (formerly BMC), with the help of volunteers, is linking up with an existing group in Weymouth to bring the benefits to our town. Eilish Davoren, Practice Manager at Ammonite Healthcare Bridport, has been in touch with Des Lochrie. Des started the Weymouth chapter and is keen to support setting something up in Bridport. Des really believes in this project and piloted the Trishaw himself from West Bay to Bucky Doo Square with my wife and I on board.
Eilish said: “As part of our continued work to support the community we wanted to give older residents, along with children and adults with disabilities, the opportunity to feel like they are cycling through Bridport in these specially adapted bikes and we hope to encourage social interaction and bring generations closer together.”
A power assisted trishaw costs £8000 and holds two passengers and boasts a bell, a rain protector and a lowering platform to make it easy for people to get on and off. They are ridden by ‘pilots’, who receive special training.
To make this a permanent feature in Bridport, a fundraising effort has been launched to contribute towards the £8,000 cost of an electric trishaw. This is the JustGiving page Crowdfunding BridportCWA set up to provide 50% of that figure, simply click the link to make your contribution.
The project is also looking for volunteers to help with the charity and ride the bikes. If you are reasonably fit, enjoy cycling and meeting people why not become a volunteer pilot. Email Des via Cycling Without Age Weymouth: [email protected] to find out first hand what being a volunteer pilot involves.
To find out more about the scheme check out the new Facebook page by clicking: CWA BRIDPORT
For more information about the national project simply click: CYCLING WITHOUT AGE UK