Two passengers being taken on a trishaw training cycle. (Photo courtesy of Cycling Without Age Society)

Sidney group offers free, fun ‘trishaw’ bike rides to seniors

Physical disability and mental obstruction no barrier to trips around town

A community group is offering free “trishaw” rides to seniors on the Saanich Peninsula.

The trishaw is a sort of bench on wheels, where two people sit and are guided on their journey by a pilot who pedals a modified bike attached to the back of the seat. There is space for a senior and their care attendant, and they are covered by a cozy blanket.

ALSO READ: Food inspectors help keep the Saanich Peninsula safe

The organization that came up with the idea nationally is Cycling Without Age, estimated to have around 40 chapters across Canada. The Sidney group is loosely affiliated to this founder organization but is organized as a free-standing non-profit.

The similarly named Cycling Without Age Society decided to go down the stand-alone route as it didn’t want to be restricted to one care facility, like many other affiliates are. They wanted to be able to serve all the care homes in the area and to be able to grow to meet demand.

Eight pilots have been trained, or are undergoing training, and a test run has been completed. Pilots have to possess clean criminal records and valid driving licenses, and are then put through a two day training course, including six hours of trishaw bike training.

ALSO READ: Car sharing coming to Central Saanich

“It’s a treat for Sidney and its residents. We’re doing it as it’s active citizenship, returning people to their community,” says Steve Duck, President of Cycling Without Age Society.

The company hopes to offer its first ride within the next two weeks and plan to offer two rides a day, growing to three a day, as the afternoons grow longer. Trips are tailored to care residences’ schedules and are designed to be stimulating and fun for seniors.

“It’s been such a treat to see the response. We did a trial run and took a gentleman with early-set dementia on a ride. The care staff told us he was having a bad morning but the ride changed his entire day and he still speaks about it,” says Duck.

Duck came across a similar group two years ago and when he saw the joy from seniors he decided to band together with a group of other volunteers to set up their chapter.

ALSO READ: Sidney Fire provides free smoke alarms

At present they have one $13,000 trishaw and hope to, one day, purchase a fleet of six. The Town of Sidney have given them a grant, as have the Sidney Lions and Russ Hay’s bike shop donated a bike that they raffled to raise funds. Duck says that they are working towards charitable foundation status.

“If I see a nickel rolling down the road I’ll jump on it,” he laughs. “We want people to feel the wind in their hair and have smiles on their faces.”

For more information visit cyclingwithoutagesociety.com.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Seniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read