It began when Ole Kassow noticed an old man sitting on a bench watching the cyclists go past. Ole had the thought that if he got hold of a cycle rickshaw he could offer to take him out for a ride. Thorkild is now 97 years old and has been enjoying his rickshaw rides for a couple of years. This YouTube video shows him getting the wind in his hair once more.
The idea has really taken off and there are now more than three hundred rickshaws in Denmark and Norway being propelled by over two thousand volunteers. In eighteen countries around the world people are now joining in and setting up similar schemes in their own towns and cities.
Here in Exeter, two of our Ride On volunteers went to Copenhagen in February in 2015 to meet Ole Kassow and find out how the project runs. This short clip shows them getting the hang of things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiibTG_OIJc
With each Rickshaw costing over £4,000 each the project was kickstarted due to incredible fundraising by John Woolner. He rode his penny farthing from Lands End to John O’Groats in support of the project, and with a further grants from Exeter Council the first Trike was bought.
We have now been running rides for 12 months now, taking residents of a local care home to visits to the quay and down the river, helping them reach new places, get out and about and socialise. To help us run more rides we are looking for more volunteers to get involved to help lead rides – thanks to a grant from The Barchester Foundation we have just ordered our second Rickshaw so we can extend the project. Full training is provided and times are flexible. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out more about Cycling Without Age on their website: http://www.cyclingwithoutage.org