Cycling Without Age a great way to “experience the joy”

Cycling Without Age
Photo submitted.
Posted on: March 9, 2022

Treff Peters from Cycling Without Age in Lanark County made a presentation to Smiths Falls council during their meeting Monday evening. His presentation was part of a larger awareness blast in Smiths Falls this week: Peters has also been reaching out to local high school teachers and putting up posters to catch students’ attention.

Cycling Without Age, Peters explained, is a group of volunteers who take nursing home residents out for a bike ride on an electricity-assisted three-wheeled bike with a passenger seat in front, called a trishaw (if you’re thinking tricycle + rickshaw, you’re getting the picture). 

Many nursing home residents have limited mobility and reduced exposure to the outdoors. Cycling Without Age opens up the freedom for trishaw passengers to explore their neighbourhood and experience the wind in their hair.

Cycling Without Age trains cyclist volunteers, called pilots. “We ask people to volunteer for six bike rides a year to maintain qualification as a pilot,” Peters noted, “and we provide all the tools needed for people to become pilots.” He added that some people complete their training quite quickly, while others need a little more time to get the hang of riding and steering the trishaw. Once trained, volunteers can use the booking app on the website to schedule their bike rides at their convenience.

Cycling without age is an international organization, with chapters all over the world and more than 35,000 pilots. 

“Highschool age students are some of the best pilots that they have,” Peters said.  He hopes that local high schoolers will volunteer as pilots to “open up a whole new avenue and experience the joy.” 

Councilor Chris McGuire asked, “If someone in Smiths Falls wanted to get trained on operating one of these things, how do they do this?” 

Peters explained that volunteers can sign up at the local Cycling Without Age website, cwalc.org; and will be required to submit a Vulnerable Sector Check. 

Peters’ goal is to have a trishaw installed at every nursing home in Lanark County. Lanark County itself is a sponsor, paying the insurance for Cycling Without Age (volunteers are covered under this insurance). 

Other Smiths Falls sponsors include Andress’ Independent, Wills Transfer, and Rental Village.

Peters also mentioned that the local organization is in need of a tech-savvy volunteer who could donate half an hour of time each month.

To find more information or to volunteer, visit cwalc.org.

Article by Janelle Labelle