This is about as wholesome of a story as you’re gonna see today. A company in Denmark called Cycling Without Age allows volunteers to take senior citizens on rickshaw rides to get them outdoors and into nature.
Ole Kassow explained how and why he started the project back in 2012: “I saw an elderly gentleman sitting in front of a nursing home. As usual, I was on my bike and came up with the idea that maybe he wanted to join me and we could get to know each other. I rented a rickshaw and it took off from there. The man became my friend, his name is Thorkild.”
Kassow pointed out how loneliness and isolation has become an epidemic among older people: “Our modern fast-paced lifestyle means that we value youth and careers and sometimes forget to appreciate the older generation and their wisdom. That means many people become isolated and lonely as they grow old.”
Since its beginnings in Denmark, Cycling Without Age has become so popular that is has spread all over the world and now has 1,100 locations, 1,500 rickshaws, and 10,000 “pilots” who take seniors out for rides in the fresh air.
The program has proved to be a big hit on all sides of the globe. In Scotland, two 95-year-old twins have enjoyed the rides immensely. The manager of the care home where the twins live said,
“Almost all of the residents have been out on the trishaw and it has brought back many memories of days gone by when motorised transport was rare. Sharing stories has been amazing and made staff think how hard life must have been in the 1940s and 50s when the only means of transport for most people was a bike. It was while on the trishaw the funny stories kept coming as Nancy and Janet, who have rooms next door to each other, shared their secrets of the bike rides over the years.”
And in Canada, the program has been lauded for its help with people suffering from dementia. A great idea that is obviously very popular for good reason!