A Cycling Without Age launch took place at Nazareth House on Tuesday.
Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen, who wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility.
The answer was a rickshaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.
He then got in touch with a civil society consultant, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought the first 5 rickshaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has spread to a number of countries, including Australia.
Tanya Barun General Managerat Nazareth House said that through the generous donation of a family bequest, two trio bikes were purchased. “These bikes are designed so we can take residents out on rides around the beautiful lake Wendouree and surrounds,” she said.
“The aim of the program is to improve the lives of our residents, to make Nazareth Care Ballarat a place of joy and continued mobility. We believe life should be beautiful whatever age you are.” Nazareth House guiding principles are: Generosity Generosity permeates every single activity in Cycling Without Age and works its magic at many different levels.
Slowness -Slowness allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment and it allows people you meet along the way to be curious about Cycling Without Age.
Storytelling We tell stories, we listen to stories of the elderly people on the bike and we also document these stories when we share them via word of mouth or on social media.
Relationships -We create a multitude of new relationships across any border in our society.
Without Age -We let people age in a positive context – fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead when interacting with their local community.
“Today Cycling Without Age is represented in 37 counties worldwide and has 450 chapters and 1500 trishaws.
50,000 elderly people have been on rides,” Ms Barun said.
“We are currently training our Pilots (volunteers) and look forward to embarking on this exciting and rewarding program for our residents.”