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Never too late: Nursing homes launch Cycling Without Age program

'It was truly a day to remember'

No doubt some residents of St. Gabriel Villa and St. Joseph's Villa loved going for bike rides earlier in their lives.

Thanks to the Cycling Without Age program, they can do that once again.

Cycling Without Age is a movement that started in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Denmark. Kassow wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but first had to find a solution to their limited mobility. 

The answer was a trishaw bike and with his first bicycle purchase he was able to start offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents in Copenhagen.

Since that time the program has expanded into more than 40 countries worldwide. 

Cycling Without Age promotes accessibility and overcoming barriers; reconnecting residents and patients with nature and their communities.  

The program also provides opportunity to develop new intergenerational friendships between drivers (referred to as “pilots”) and the passengers. Families will also have the opportunity to ride with their loved one as the program progresses.

St. Gabriel Villa and St. Joseph's Villa received a grant from Canada Summer Jobs to hire a summer student to drive the bike in its first year. 

The program is also being funded by the proceeds from the 2018 Chip in for Charity golf tournament, sponsored by Schuster Boyd McDonald.

Cycling Without Age was launched at St. Gabriel Villa on June 21, when eight residents received a ride.

“The community of Chelmsford warmly welcomed their new bike riders with an abundance of friendly hand waves and horn honks from passing motorists,” said a press release.

“It was truly a day to remember and reinforced that life unfolds at all ages and that it is never too late to pursue a new adventure!”

The two nursing homes will be looking for volunteers to run this program in the future. Anyone who's interested is asked to speak to any member of the care homes' life enrichment department.