Cycling Without Age – Walker, MN
Cycling Without Age is a global program that enables seniors to “get the wind in their hair”. Trained Pilots take passengers on Bike Rides around the local trails and city bike lanes.
The Principals of Cycling Without Age are:
- Generosity:Cycling Without Age is based on generosity and kindness
- Slow Cycling:Slow cycling allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment and it allows people you meet along the way to be curious and gain knowledge about Cycling Without Age because you make time to stop and talk
- Storytelling:Elderly people have so many stories that will be forgotten if we don’t reach out and listen to them.
- Relationships:Cycling Without Age is about creating a multitude of new relationships: between generations, among the elderly, between pilots and passengers, nursing homes employees and family members.
- Without Age:Life does not end when you turn 75. Life unfolds at all ages, young and old, and can be thrilling, fun, sad, beautiful and meaningful.
What is a Trishaw?
This particular model – the Triobike taxi – is a bike for transporting people who enjoy the wind in their hair! The bike is a pleasure to ride even when carrying two adults up a hill. And, it’s a pleasure to sit in with soft, bespoke cushions. They have even adapted the seat to make it accessible for people with walking difficulties. Once seated, safety is key with a seatbelt per passenger. The Triobike taxi has a handy storage unit and a retractable hood and waterproof blanket for bad weather. Its many windows ensure a superb all-round view.
How it Works:
Volunteers (pilots) sign up for bike rides with the elderly through a simple booking system as often or as rarely as they want to. It’s all driven by people’s own motivation. More than 225 chapters around the world offer Cycling Without Age from well over 1,000 trishaws – and the numbers are still growing. More than 8,000 pilots ensure that the elderly get out of their nursing homes, out on the bikes to enjoy the fresh air and the community around them. They give them the right to wind in their hair. There are 14 cities in Wisconsin that have one or multiple trishaws.
How it would work in Walker:
We now have a local organization that will OWN and INSURE the Trishaw – The Walker Lions. We have a facility that will STORE, SECURE and RECHARGE the Trishaw Taxi – Edgewood May Creek. I have a gentleman in town, Paul Nye, of Backstreet Bikes, who works on bikes and will help maintain the Trishaw. As SHIP coordinator for Cass County, I have a lot of cyclists that are on committees I work with that have already volunteered to be Pilots to take passengers on rides. I myself would train the Pilots. I have been to Stephens Point WI, where they have 5 trishaws, and completed the Pilot Training. I would like to encourage as many young people to sign up as Pilots. Terri, from the Pilot Independent, is also VERY excited about this project and will help publicize any Cycling Without Age initiatives we present. All Riders and Pilots will read Handbooks and sign Waivers naming the Owners and May Creek as being non-liable.
We have raised over $11,000 so far locally. The Trishaw costs $9,233, shipped from Copenhagen Denmark to Walker MN. We expect a few maintenance costs. I have the following sites confirmed as sites for rides: May Creek, Hope Lutheran, St Agnes, Calvary Church and The American Legion. If it becomes clear that a second Trishaw is needed I may request additional Funds. Our first Trishaw is expected to arrive the week of December 20th 2019 and we expect start training Pilots in January.
This Cycling Without Age Trishaw Project will be an amazing ASSET to the City of Walker. A very visible sign that we cherish and take care of our Seniors and Disabled population.
I see this as collaboration between any sponsoring Community Organizations, the Walker Lions, Cass County SHIP, and May Creek. But what would be the Benefits for the City of Walker?
- Community Service benefit. This will be an incredible first for the City of Walker, and in fact, Northern Minnesota. A unique service that could help literally hundreds of “senior” seniors to get back out in their community.
- Increased visibility for the City of Walker showing its vibrancy and spirit to potential residents, companies and seniors looking to move up here.
- This project will encourage the spirit of Volunteerism and Giving as it will be an open display of love and kindness that the whole town can see.
- If this program is successful, and it has been in many, many other cities, I believe that Cycling Without Age will spread to other communities in our region. I have already had inquiries from The Good Sam’s in Pine River and our Tribal SHIP Coordinator in Cass Lake. We have many trails in this region and many people who cycle.
Because this is a new project, it will take passion, organization and a “leap of faith” to make it work. I believe it can be done. This project has the full backing of Cass County Public Health, The Minnesota Department of Health and The Walker Lions. I hope the Rotary Club will keep this effort in mind in case we identify the need for a second Trishaw.
The schedule for scheduling a ride:
Monday – DAC
Tuesday – Community Church
Wednesday – Calvary Church
Thursday – Hope Lutheran Church
Friday – St. Agnes Church
Saturday – May Creek
contact any of the above locations to schedule.
Simon Whitehead: Cass County SHIP Health and Nutrition Educator.
218-547-6843 office 952-220-1060 cell