Cycling Without Age is a movement started 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 rickshaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.
Ole Kassow started Cycling Without Age as a way of helping nursing home residents get back into society. As a cycling Copenhagener for whom the bicycle as transport is a given, Ole felt the need to help those with limited mobility. His solution? A classic Copenhagen rickshaw (see picture below). He was inspired by an elderly man, Thorkild, from his local nursing home and he offered to take him for a ride.
Soon all the other residents wanted a ride, too. He then hooked up with Dorthe Pedersen, a visionary “boundary spanner” consultant from Copenhagen Municipality, and together they bought the first 5 rickshaws. Dorthe has since joined Cycling Without Age.
The reward of giving someone the experience of mobility and wind in the hair was indescribable. Before we knew it, Cycling Without Age spread to many cities in Denmark and beyond. There are now 25 cities in 14 countries that have been granted a royalty free license to give their elderly in their local nursing homes the same fantastic experience (view zoomable map here).
“We are passionate about this movement. For us it’s not just riding a rickshaw with the elderly, but rather building that bridge between generations. Exchanging stories, starting new friendships and giving back to them while we are still able to. It’s the most amazing form of social inclusion. We are, after all, heading down the same path at some point.”
Check out more on cyclingwithoutage.org