Posted on November 11, 2016 at 10:37 am
We are delighted to see cargo bikes used in such a community project. Following a successful bid by Time & Talents and Cargobike Life CIC, and generously funded by United St Saviours Charity, elderly people in Southwark are now offered friendly bicycle rides in their local Rotherhithe community. Kicking off just before Christmas, passengers and riders alike are encouraged to fully embrace the festive spirit.
Life is a cycle and inevitably, one gets old. We all know what age does and this hasn’t changed much. Sadly, growing old nowadays often means growing old lonely and isolated. Cycling Without Age attempts to address this by offering the opportunity for elderly folks to come for a bicycle ride on specially adapted Christiania cargo bikes. Commenting on our increasingly divided modern societies, between young and old, wealthy and poor, Alex Evans, Director at Time & Talents said: “Fun and friendship are the best way to bring people and communities together”.
Why a bicycle? For so many excellent reasons! A bicycle is a timeless wonderful mode of transportation which older people would have almost certainly used at some stage in their life, before, perhaps facing limited mobility issues. The familiarity is one thing, but the feeling one experienced when riding a bicycle is also unforgettably awesome. The tag line of Cycling Without Age concept is: ‘The right to wind in your hair’ and that says it all. Getting out and about, interacting with others, feeling the fresh air or sun on our face, having a friendly chat and above all, sharing the experience with another human being are so important to anyone’s wellbeing. Time & Talent seized this opportunity to get people together out in the open.
This unique service is the brain child of Ole Kassow who started offering free rides to residents of his local nursing home, in Copenhagen. Following a collaboration with Dorthe Pedersen a civil society consultant from Copenhagen, Cycling Without Age was born. It now operates in many parts of Denmark and in 28 countries thanks to a network of 6,000 volunteer riders (Pilots).
“Nothing beats witnessing the joy of the elderly, pilots and nursing home staff interact on and around the trishaw and seeing the smiles of passengers coming back from their first ride with wind in their hair, rosy cheeks and full of stories.” For more information on how to get started in your area, contact Cycling Without Age or Cargobike Life CIC.
Time & Talent is currently recruiting some keen cyclists who could volunteer some time to take older people for a ride, starting this Christmas. Please contact Time and Talents directly for further information.