The new Cycling Without Age Society’s (CWAS) free trishaw rides for seniors seem to have caught the public’s imagination, with the latest donation of $4,000 from the Sidney Lions.
Cycling Without Age is a national organization of 40 loosely affiliated chapters across Canada and over a 1000 elsewhere in the world. The Sidney branch, CWAS, was set up by local resident Steve Duck to help elderly or people with disabilities whose lack of mobility isolate them from the wider community.
CWAS’s specially trained volunteer pilots can now be seen pedalling passengers around town, with regular stops on the tour for coffee or to chat with locals.
“The response has been phenomenal,” says Duck. “Even the pilots are having a wonderful time due to the interaction between pilot and passengers. We’re pleased, it’s such a great statement of active citizenship.”
The free service has been described as “returning people to their community,” but although run as a non-profit, the prohibitive cost of the bikes has meant slow growth in the face of high demand for their service. Duck says the bikes currently cost $13,000, although they are exploring ways to have them assembled in Canada, which will knock $6,000 off the shipping costs.
Bob Orchard, president of the Sidney Lions, hopes the donation will help CWAS expand its five-bike fleet.
“Even though they’re bringing the cost down for the bikes, they’re still expensive. We have a member involved with them and it’s a local charity so that’s why we supported them,” he says.
Duck says the response has been overwhelming, with inquiries in the free rides coming as far as Everett, Washington State.
To donate or learn more visit cyclingwithoutagesociety.com.