Wally Windsor gets some help from the trishaw to his walker after a ride with the Cycling Without Age folks, Neil Pritchard (centre) and Denis Bowering. The City of Penticton has endorsed the program and will be looking for ways to assist in storing the trishaws and making the cycling routes more accessible for the cycles. (Mark Brett - Western News)

City of Penticton endorses Cycling Without Age program

The OneSky program helps seniors and those with disabilities enjoy the outdoors

Penticton’s Cycling Without Age program received city council’s endorsement on April 2, along with an accepted invitation by Mayor John Vassilaki to enjoy a ride with his mother on one of the three-wheeled, electric assist cycles this summer.

The international program’s Penticton chapter, which is sponsored by OneSky Community Resources and Cowork Penticton, allows seniors and those with disabilities to enjoy time outdoors. Participants can sign up for free rides where they are pulled behind these cycles, called trishaws, and toured throughout the city.

READ ALSO: Seniors get to be kids again thanks to Cycling Without Age in the Okanagan

“We are one of about 15 chapters in British Columbia. Currently, we have one trishaw available… and we have a second one arriving tomorrow,” said Tanya Behardien, executive director of OneSky. “Our goal is to have four by March 31, 2020. We first debuted during the annual Peach Fest parade and have had 68 rides since then.”

The trishaws can fit two people per ride, not including the ‘pilot’. Neil Pritchard is the Penticton program’s lead volunteer and ‘pilot’, who has helped trained 21 other ‘pilots’ to facilitate the program according to Behardien.

“Neil’s done a lot of mapping in terms of the good rides that there are available in the community and the many beautiful places to see, so we have a lot of experience doing that,” said Behardien. “In our experience we’ve bumped up against a few things… one is we’re requesting exemption around two bylaws.”

READ ALSO: Video: Cycling for seniors joy in the South Okanagan

Behardien explained that the exemption of a specific traffic bylaw and parks bylaw would allow the trishaw to be taken on sidewalks and in parks. The other requests brought to council were the removal of barriers that impede the trishaw’s accessibility and assistance with storing the cycles.

All requests were passed on by council to staff, who will bring a recommendation forward at a future council meeting.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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