Cycling Without Age

Grant Program: 2019 + 2021 Community Grants

Funds: Ron and Barbara Howard Fund

Grant Recipient: Cycling Without Age Program, with Silver Harbour Activity Centre

Program Goal: Cycling Without Age North Shore provides free rides for mobility challenged people, mostly seniors, along multi-use trails and low traffic roads. We break our passengers free from social isolation and make them smile. Bring back their memories, and let them be part of society again and thereby renew their appetite for life itself. 

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow to offer the less physically able elderly a cycling experience. He obtained support from the City of Copenhagen and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to 50 countries around the world. 

Annwen from Silver Harbour receives the symbolic 'keys' to the trailer from Adine Mees (WVF) and trishaws from donors Margie Smith and Gavin Bamber.

The North Shore Chapter of Cycling Without Age was initiated by retired engineer Ian Rose-Innes. A good friend had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and this eventually resulted in him requiring a wheelchair to get around. Ian wanted to take him for bike ride along the False Creek sea wall and for a cup of coffee at Olympic Village, but not one of the bike shops he tried in Vancouver had equipment that he could use to transport his friend. So when he encountered Cycling Without Age, which provides rides for those with mobility challenges on a trishaw, it really struck a chord. He started to work on the creating a North Shore Chapter and after securing key partners such as Silver Harbour Seniors Activity Centre, it is now a reality!

Official Launch and Celebration

On October 21, 2021 the Cycling With Age North Shore founders, key funders & stakeholders, and community members were at the Celebration of the program launch.  Chairman, Ian Rose-Innes explained his personal reason for wanting to start this wonderful program and took the time to thank key stakeholders and funders including Annwen Loverin at Silver Harbour Seniors Activity Centre, Mayor  Linda Buchanan (City of North Vancouver), Adine Mees (WVF CEO), Karen Donald and Rick Amantea (Park Royal Shopping Centre), Gary Mathiesen (Quay North Property Development) and many others.  Guests were invited to go for a short ride to test out the new tri-shaws, around North Vancouver’s Shipyards. 

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow to offer the less physically able elderly a cycling experience. He obtained support from the City of Copenhagen and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to 50 countries around the world. A 3 minute inspirational video and 15 minute TED talk can be found on the website: www.cyclingwithoutage.org

Experienced and specially trained volunteer cyclists, many from the four seniors’ cycling groups operating out of the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre, will pilot the electric-assisted trishaws. Park Royal, the City of North Vancouver and Quay North Property Development have provide bases where the trishaws are stored. We aim to serve the residents of some 40 care homes and those resident in their own homes all across the North Shore. Currently we have purchased one trishaw, which we modified and used to test hill climb ability, prior to purchasing more. We have funds which we raised to allow us to purchase another two. However the steep terrain of the North Shore and the distances between care homes makes it very difficult to access many care homes. There is also a lack of space at care homes and pick-up points where we could build bases. To solve these problems, we intend to purchase a cargo trailer, which can transport and store two trishaws, to serve as a mobile base. Parking for the cargo trailer, while we service a care home, is available preferably in a secured area onsite or on the street. . We intend to operate from the following pickup points, providing rides for people who have been transported there by car or bus: The Boat Shed in Ambleside Park, The Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay, Andrews on 8th, Margaret Fulton Adult Day Care Centre and the gazebo at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve for rides along the Demonstration Forest Trail. Care homes will arrange transport using their own buses or a bus service provided by the West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre, Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre or HandyDart. Care homes that are close to cycle trails or in quiet residential areas and where gradients are safe to descend, can be served at their door. These include those adjacent to the WVSAC, Amica West Vancouver, Capliano Care Home, Beacon Hill Lodge, Summerhill PARC, Berkley Care Centre, Cedar Springs PARC and the care homes in Lynn Valley.

What Is It?

Experienced and specially trained volunteer cyclists, many from the four seniors’ cycling groups operating out of the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre, will pilot the electric-assisted trishaws. Park Royal and the City of North Vancouver have provide bases where the trishaws are stored. They aim to serve the residents of some 40 care homes and those resident in their own homes all across the North Shore. 

They currently have 3 tri-shaws plus a cargo-trailer to transport the bikes.  In addition to the amazing impact it has on the passengers, it’s also about the volunteers, the pilots. Cycling Without Age is probably less about volunteering in the traditional sense of the word and more about active citizenship. Citizenship that’s driven by a desire to get involved, and to make a real difference for someone. It’s about creating relationships between people. 

West Vancouver Foundation was proud to support the purchase of the initial tri-shaw, plus the cargo-trailer, with funds from the Ron & Barbara Howard Fund.