A worldwide movement to get older people back out on bikes has launched in Brighton, with crowdfunding for a second adapted bicycle.
Cycling Without Age, a volunteer run programme that began in Denmark, uses tricycles with front seating to take the elderly out for a spin.
Volunteers sign up for bike rides with the elderly through a simple booking system as often or as rarely as they want to.
More than 225 chapters around the world offer Cycling Without Age from well over 1,000 trishaws, and 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.
Volunteer Elly Hargreaves in Brighton told the Argus: “We create life-affirming cycle rides and relationships between elders, care home residents and voluntary cycle pilots.
“You can volunteer as often or as little as you want.
“Our principles are generosity, slow cycling, storytelling, relationships and community, and of course our cycle rides are free!
“Life unfolds at all ages and can be thrilling, fun, sad, challenging, beautiful and meaningful. Cycling Without Age is about engaging people of all ages to build community.”
One of the first trishaw passengers was 93-year-old Kemp Town care home resident Vi.
Duncan Henderson, her pilot said: “I said to Vi, ‘I imagine there’s a lot of memories here for you’.
“She sighed wistfully and said, ‘everywhere! It’s so ridiculous how close I live to the sea and I can’t even remember the last time I was down here’.
“It was a beautiful ride.
“Cycling Without Age helps elderly residents get out of their homes so they can enjoy the fresh air and community around them.
“Forty people have signed up to become volunteer cycle pilots but we are looking for more.
“Five care homes are already interested and the city council’s older people’s housing manager, Peter Huntbach, is a keen supporter. He is working to extend our reach.”
The Brighton team already has one trishaw with electrical power assist and is crowdfunding for another.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.