Cycling Without Age pilot training volunteers Isaac Gilbert (seated left) and Denise Bowering (right) with Janet Filipenko in the driver’s seat and instructor and Penticton CWA founder Neil Pritchard (left). (Mark Brett - Western News)

Cycling Without Age pilot training volunteers Isaac Gilbert (seated left) and Denise Bowering (right) with Janet Filipenko in the driver’s seat and instructor and Penticton CWA founder Neil Pritchard (left). (Mark Brett - Western News)

Video: Cycling for seniors joy in the South Okanagan

A new chapter of an organization bringing enjoyment to seniors in the outdoors is now in Penticton

For founder Ole Kassow of Cycling Without Age it’s all about “feeling the wind in your hair” — even if you don’t have any.

Cycling Without Age is a global initiative launched in 2012 by the Copenhagen, Denmark resident to help seniors at a local nursing home get outside and, more importantly, reconnect with society.

READ ALSO: Cycling association wants City of Penticton to invest in cycling amenities

“It’s an easy and simple solution to a big problem we have in our society today. There are so many people who are lonely, elderly people who are stuck indoors not able to go out and use their senses,” said Kassow, 52, who was in Penticton Sunday to help the local Cycling Without Age chapter as part of a North American tour. “It’s also about just connecting to the local community and just breaking free of that loneliness, so many people are socially isolated and this is just a great way of breaking that isolation.”

Now operating in over 40 countries worldwide, Cycling Without Age chapters use three-wheel, electric-assist trishaws capable of transporting two people in the front seats.

The Penticton chapter was formed late last year by Neil Pritchard and is sponsored in part by Cowork Penticton under the auspices of One Sky Community Resources.

Pritchard currently has one trishaw in place with another believed to be in transit and eventually his three-year plan is to have a fleet of four and as many as 20 volunteers.

According to Kassow, while it is mainly seniors in care homes who get the free rides, there are others who benefit as well.

“Even young people in this day and age, just the way we’ve organized our society there are so many people of all ages who are actually lonely and community is both a great way to increase quality of life and actually for people to live happier and longer lives as well,” he said.

Part of the program introduced on Sunday involved the training of the volunteer “pilots,” those who will be at the controls of the trishaws.

One of those people was Glen Sasyniuk.

“I got involved about two or three months ago when I heard about Cycling Without Age through One Sky — I‘ve been a volunteer for about a year and a bit with One Sky,” said Sasyniuk while waiting for his two final training rides. “Being a cyclist and volunteering with Alex Merckx’s ride in Penticton I thought this was a natural thing.”

According to Kassow, the organization’s mandate is simply: “We dream of creating a world together, in which the access to active citizenship creates happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.

“That way we build bridges between generations and we reinforce trust, respect.”


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Founder Ole Kassow (centre) of Cycling Without Age with Penticton trainees Isaac Gilbert and Janet Filipenko. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Founder Ole Kassow (centre) of Cycling Without Age with Penticton trainees Isaac Gilbert and Janet Filipenko. (Mark Brett - Western News)

Just Posted

Chrystina Barnard, owner of Lucky’s Pet Supply, has made it her mission to visit as many patios in Penticton as a way to promote restaurants. Here she is enjoying an eggs benny with her best fur friend at Loki’s Garage in Penticton. (Facebook)
Penticton foodie commits to 19-day patio crawl to promote local restaurants

The small business owner wanted to help out eateries hurt by the new restrictions

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Penticton fire truck
Residents evacuated after apartment fire in Penticton

The fire started in an apartment on Government Street Saturday night

Lori Jantz snapped this picture of a fight between a bald eagle and an osprey above Osoyoos Lake on Friday. (Lori Jantz photo)
Battle in the sky erupts above South Okanagan lake

Bald eagle and osprey fight mid-air in Osoyoos

This garbage bin behind a strip mall in Skaha Lake Road was set alight on Friday night at 11 p.m. The foam from firefighters can be seen on the ground. (Facebook)
Dumpster fire comes too close to Penticton seniors’ complex

One resident worries Penticton might have a fire bug

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Highway 97 being converted to four lanes in April 1990. This photo taken in Lake Country. (Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Photo #14025)
HISTORY: How the old Highway 97 in Lake Country got new name

Pelmewash Parkway recognizes the First Nations history in Lake Country

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read