Cycling Without Age Albany pedals accessible rides for all

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Cycling Without Age chairwoman Sandie Smith with CEO Karen O'Connor.
Camera IconAlbany Cycling Without Age chairwoman Sandie Smith with CEO Karen O'Connor. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

A global initiative to help people enjoy the pleasures of good conversation in the great outdoors has pedalled its way to Albany and is looking for community support.

Cycling Without Age is a grassroots initiative which started in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2012.

It encourages volunteer “pilots” to take people who cannot ride for themselves out for a spin on the front of a specially designed electric bike, known as a trishaw.

After a push from the community, Albany has established its own chapter of the program and embarked on a fundraising mission to secure a trishaw by spring next year.

Chairwoman Sandie Smith said the group was on the lookout for about 20 volunteers and needed to raise $6000 to make the first deposit on a trishaw.

Albany Cycling Without Age chairwoman Sandie Smith with chief executive Karen O'Connor at Middleton Beach.
Camera IconAlbany Cycling Without Age chairwoman Sandie Smith with chief executive Karen O'Connor at Middleton Beach. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“We have lots of aged-care facilities in Albany, a huge cycling community and a really strong volunteer community ... we should put those things together and offer that for people in our community,” she said.

“Not just aged people but anyone who lives with disability and can’t cycle for themselves.”

Cycling Without Age Australia chief executive Karen O’Connor said the initiative was also about fostering a valuable connection with the passengers.

“We want somebody who’s got compassion for others and that has a bit of time,” she said.

“You will be amazed by how many people talk to you while you are on the trishaw and give you stories or recollect memories when they are in a location.

“We find that it really is beautiful riding for people with dementia.”

Fundraising efforts will start on Saturday with a sausage sizzle at Bunnings Albany from 9am- 4pm. To find out more visit the Cycling Without Age Albany Facebook page.

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