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

Just Posted

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read