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Posted: August 8, 2019

Connecting our community

Cranbrook Society for Community Living (CSCL) has partnered with Cycling Without Age (CWA) Cranbrook and, with the generous support of Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and local citizens and businesses, we are excited to announce that a Cycling Without Age Program has launched in the Cranbrook area with the purchase of three Trishaws!

A Cycling Without Age (CWA) Program provides a specialized bike (a trishaw) with an electric- assisted motor which allows a pilot (the operator) to take passengers for bike rides in the community. Adults and youth with developmental disabilities, as well as any interested community members with limited mobility, will be able to access their community – reducing social isolation and promoting an increase in community activities.

CSCL is a charitable organization that has been providing services in Cranbrook for over 60 years. We are actively involved in our community and take pride in giving back. Providing the use of CWA bikes to the community will encompass that philosophy.

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in Denmark 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 trishaw 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, who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought five trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age. CWA has now spread to all corners of Denmark and around the world – Canada boasts over 25 chapters.

Our program pairs volunteer pilots with a rider, offering access to enjoy an outing in their community – either to enjoy nature, attend a social program, or to go out for coffee and connect with their neighbours. Healthy relationships build trust, happiness, and quality of life – physical and mental well-being are enhanced.

The program has the added benefit of promoting volunteerism in Cranbrook and the surrounding area. Other communities who have a CWA bike have found that citizens are quite eager to assist as bike pilots. This connection between riders and pilots increases opportunities to build relationships and expand social support networks.

A CWA bike encourages inclusivity by bringing together people in the community from different groups. The program would be intergenerational, intercultural, and accessible to all residents regardless of socio-economic status. There would be no charge for this experience.

Riders or volunteers are encouraged to visit the CSCL website at www.cranbrookscl.ca or CWA Cranbrook’s Facebook page for more information.

Cranbrook Society for Community Living

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