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Cycling Without Age

Over the past few months, myself and a small team of volunteers have been working to bring Cycling Without Age to Newcastle. Cycling Without Age is a well-established global movement which allows the elderly and less mobile to get out and enjoy the fresh air on a specially designed trishaw bike. Here they can experience the city and nature close-up, enjoy conversations and build relationships, all of which reduces social isolation and loneliness and helps them to remain an active part of their local community. The joy of cycling brings huge emotional and physical well-being benefits to both the passengers and the volunteer ‘pilots’ who pedal the trishaws.  Rides are comfortable, fun, fully insured and free! 

We are hoping to raise £7000 in order to purchase our first trishaw and get this amazing concept off the ground in Newcastle!

You can help to bring Cycling Without Age to Newcastle by supporting the crowdfunding page which is open until 19th February 2018.

What is Cycling Without Age?

We are part of ‘Cycling Without Age’ who are a not for profit, voluntarily led group. The movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow, which set out to tackle the social isolation endured by elderly people as a consequence of their limited mobility. Cycling Without Age enables volunteers to use a bespoke bike called a Trishaw to take local nursing home residents out on bike rides around their local area. Cycling Without Age is a free service to help create new relationships between generations, involving the community and improving quality of life for the elderly. This has since evolved and now serves all vulnerable corners of society in over 33 Countries. Since Fraser Johnston, who is a volunteer for the Falkirk Chapter, was featured in BBC Three’s ‘Amazing Humans’ television programme the concept has spread rapidly throughout the UK with new Chapters of CWA opening to support their local communities. Each local chapter is run by volunteers with our guiding principles of generosity, slowness, storytelling, relationships and without restriction of age.

What are we trying to do?

Our volunteer pilots take local elders and care homes residents out on ‘trishaw’ cycle rides to feel the wind in their hair. We hope to bring generations closer together using special trishaws (three-wheel cycles with a passenger cab out front). They have electrical power assist, so you don't have to be super-sporty to be a volunteer cycle pilot! Our rides are comfortable, fun and free.

How is it going to work?

We are what is called a ‘registered affiliate’ of Cycling Without Age which means we have been granted the privilege of starting a ‘Chapter’ of CWA in our local area. We are building relationships with care homes and managing a scheme of local volunteers to take elderly people on bike rides out of their homes and back into their communities. By introducing this scheme into our area, we will: 

  •  Build stronger communities 
  • Tackle issues of social isolation amongst the elderly 
  • Create more engaged and active citizens

The Trishaw

Each trishaw costs around £6000 each. This includes the blanket and rain hood. The Trishaw is a specially designed bicycle with a two-seat carriage at the front, each with a motor so that the "Pilot" does not have to be super fit! The bikes are usually ridden slowly to enable interaction with the rider and the pilot as well as the general public along the route.  The rider is positioned on the saddle behind them, where they can peddle and steer the bike.

Cycling Without Age facts

  • Established in 2012 in Copenhagen
  • Represented in 37 countries worldwide
  • 450 + chapters
  • 1,500 + trishaws
  • 10,000 + trained cycle pilots
  • Over 50,000 elderly people have been on rides
  • Oldest pilot is 89 and oldest passenger 106
  • Our trishaws cycle 2.2 million km a year or 53 times around the world

How you can help

We have set ourselves an initial target of two trishaws for the Newcastle chapter. By donating to the project or pledging a reward you can help us get this worthwhile and exciting project up and running in your local area. If you would like to volunteer to become one of our trishaw pilots get in touch!

More about Cycling Without Age

Watch Amazing Humans video 'Fraser from Scotland'
Watch TED Talk by founder Ole Kassow
CWA Global:

Keep up to date by following CWA Newcastle on Facebook and Twitter.

Lesley Heseltine
Newcastle CWA Team


Add a comment
  • Ian Fairclough
    5th February 2018

    Do you need Public Liability Insurance for these tri-shaws?