Health and wellbeing

Cycling Without Age gives Sydney seniors an uplifting ride

Local aged care residents are reconnecting with the joy of riding, thanks to a program helping them explore Sydney by bike.

Cycling Without Age launch at Rushcutters Bay

Aged care residents Faye and Julian Marcovich recently re-experienced their youth as they spun around Rushcutters Bay by bike for the first time in years.

The first passengers of a new 3-wheeled bike enjoyed the wind in their hair and an outdoor tour alongside Sydney Harbour.

The program from global social enterprise Cycling Without Age pairs volunteer riders with residents from local aged care centres for social and scenic adventures.

“We really enjoyed it, it’s fantastic. You feel like you’re royalty,” said Faye, a resident at Montefiore aged care in Woollahra.

“It’s so lovely to see all the boats, scenery and the birds. We’ve also made some new friends.”

“It’s wonderful to be out in the fresh air. I’d like to ride the bicycle myself but unfortunately I just can’t these days,” said Julian.

Cycling Without Age helps residents of all ages keep active and engaged in the community. The new trishaw was added to its Sydney fleet thanks to a grant from the City of Sydney and Woollahra Council.

Local bike group BIKEast trains volunteer riders to use the battery-assisted trishaws.

“The program gets residents into the outdoors for contact with people who are active. We have wonderful conversations and exchange stories – it’s just wonderful for both the passengers and the pilot riders,” said Adrian Boss, Cycling Without Age coordinator from BIKEast.

Cycling Without Age pairs volunteer riders with residents from aged care centres.
Cycling Without Age pairs volunteer riders with residents from aged care centres.

“The new trishaw means we can take residents on rides to explore the Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, the Domain, Rushcutters Bay Park and Centennial Parklands – all easily reached from local care homes.”

David Wilston’s been a bike rider for over 20 years and began volunteering at the Montefiore aged care home several years ago when his father lived there.

“There’s a lot of satisfaction that you’re helping people,” David said.

“It’s great for them to get out in the fresh air instead of feeling like they’re stuck in a home. I enjoy it just as much as they do!”

The Cycling Without Age trishaws will travel between aged care homes including The Terraces at Paddington giving older residents the opportunity to connect with younger riders.

Cycling Without Age began in 2012 in Denmark and now runs in 37 countries around the world.

Around 20 groups operate in Australia.

Published 1 August 2019