- Friday 14 February 2020
There’s a new type of love riding into town putting big smiles on the faces of our senior citizens– it’s called Cycling Without Age.
The big-hearted organisation is delivering healthy and fun opportunities for our community in the form of volunteer-piloted trishaw bike rides along our picturesque local pathways.
This initiative is a first for the Sunshine Coast but is already an international sensation, originating in Denmark in 2012 before expanding to 45 countries around the world.
The free program is now pedalling into Division 3 after receiving council funding to put its wheels in motion.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said it’s a cause close to his heart and not just because it’s Valentine’s Day.
“This program is absolutely terrific in the way it provides ongoing free rides for those in our community in need of some support,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“It gives our elderly community, as well as people with reduced mobility, an opportunity to get outside into the fresh air and explore our beautiful coastline.
The specially designed bikes seat two passengers comfortably and is ridden by a volunteer ‘pilot’.
“This simple act, thanks to the kindness of volunteers, helps to reduce loneliness and isolation for participants, while building a community across all ages and abilities.
“Having a more connected community is an important part of the Sunshine Coast way of life and is a key objective of our Sunshine Coast Community Strategy 2019-2041, which is driving our shared vision for the community that Together we Thrive.”
Mayor Jamieson and Division 3 Councillor Peter Cox each provided $16,374 late last year from their discretionary funding program to help Cycling Without Age to purchase two trishaw bikes.
Councillor Cox said it was a real passion project and he is thrilled to see this program come to fruition.
“Cycling Without Age offers endless benefits for our wider community,” Councillor Cox said.
“The program fosters an inclusive community and builds bridges between generations by improving active and positive ageing opportunities.
“It also provides family members and carers with the opportunity to get outside and enjoy an activity with their loved ones.”
Cycling Without Age Community Captain Tim Rogers said the simple act of providing free rides is invaluable.
“I am amazed by the reactions we see from the people who ride on a trishaw,” Mr Rogers said.
“Even if you sense a tiny bit of apprehension as they get on, once they get 50 metres down the road, they are feeling relaxed and are chatting away—it’s very rewarding.
“We are extremely grateful for the funding contributed by council for the first two trishaws.”
Mr Rogers said Cycling Without Age was always looking for more volunteer ‘pilots’ to help expand the program and provide services right along the Coast and throughout the region.
“If you are recently retired or looking for a positive way to get outdoors and give back, then this might be a great way to spend a few hours.”
If you would like to volunteer, head to ‘Cycling Without Age – Sunshine Coast’ Facebook page.
The program will push off from Currimundi Lake, Kings Beach and Birtinya, and pedal along the lakes and coastal pathways before expanding across the region.