The Right to Wind In your Hair

"We are all heading on the same path that our grandparents were on. It is an inevitable journey of life. Cycling Without Age reminds us of that relationship with our elders and on our five guiding principles that we abide by.

It starts with the simple act of generosity. Give our time to them when they gave us their care and time. There are a lot of stories to be shared through storytelling from our elders, but also from us. They want to listen to us too and through this bridge we form relationships. We take our time, and the act of cycling slowly helps us take in the experience and appreciate it. Without age is the principle of how life does not end at a given age, but instead we can embrace what each generation has to offer through something as simple as cycling."

"Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a rickshaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.

He then got in touch with a civil society consultant, Dorthe Pedersen, at the municipality of Copenhagen (now Cycling Without Age), who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought the first 5 rickshaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and has now spread to Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Singapore, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, Slovakia, Netherlands, France and Chile – and it’s now taking off in several more countries around the world.

Volunteers (pilots) sign up for bike rides with the elderly through a simple booking system as often or as rarely as they want to. It’s all driven by people’s own motivation. At present (November 2015) more than 63 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities offer Cycling Without Age from well over 400 rickshaws – and the numbers are still growing. More than 3,000 pilots ensure that the elderly get out of their nursing homes, out on the bikes to enjoy the fresh air and the community around them. They give them the right to wind in their hair."

Via/More: Cycling Without Age

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Photograph via changemakers

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