Rotarian Adrian Fawcett introduced the Guest Speakers for tonight's meeting: Brad Barber and Janet Roos, who will tell us about Cycling Without Age.

Cycling Without Age is a global, non-for-profit organisation founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Ole Kassow. It was established in 2012, and today, the organisation is represented in 42 countries all over the world! The concept of Cycling Without Age is taking elderly people (or those with disabilities) out for bike rides in specially built trishaw bikes piloted by volunteers. The bike rides are free of charge. Our mission is to build bridges between generations and help prevent loneliness: we provide the elderly people an opportunity to avoid social isolation and remain active in their community by taking them out on bike rides and allow them to feel the wind in their hair!

Janet introduced us to Cycling Without Age. She is the treasurer for the local Mandurah Chapter of the Group, which is the most recent Australian addition.
Janet noted how the Cycling Without Age Principles:
Generosity – based on generosity and kindness,
Slowness – Slowness allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment,
Storytelling – Older adults have so many stories that will be forgotten if we don’t reach out and listen to them,
Relationships – creating a multitude of new relationships between generations, among older people, between pilots and passengers, family members …,
Without Age – Life unfolds at all ages and can be thrilling and fun, sad, beautiful and meaningful
reflect those of Rotary.
The story around how, where, and when Cycling Without Age started is quite interesting.
In 2012, while the Danish man Ole Kassow was cycling to work daily, he noticed that many older Danes would be sitting outdoors, and were relatively inactive and apparently disconnected from their surroundings.
He hired a trishaw, and knocked on the door of a local nursing home, offering rides for any resident who wished to do so. His first passenger was Gertrude.
Gertrude shared the ride for an hour, while Ole listened to her stories: he lived Copenhagen through Gertrude's eyes and memories.
The nursing home reported about the positive effect the outing had on Gertrude's mental well-being.
As interest from local authorities increased, it led to an offer from the City of Copenhagen to supply five trishaws, and Cycling Without Age was born. It has now spread to all corners of Denmark and, since 2015, to another 42 countries around the world.
The concept arrived in Australia in 2016.
Research conducted at Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh) and Cycling Without Age Scotland found that residents identified the key benefits from the activity as freedom, friendship and fresh air. Other studies have produced similar findings.
Brad Barber then spoke to us about how he got involved.
Brad’s mum had a stroke and lived the last five years of her life in a care home. Brad noticed how much his mum enjoyed being outside – how much she lit up.
He started learning as much as possible about Cycling Without Age after seeing a trishaw in Fremantle.
With the help of a committee and funding from various organisations, he borrowed some trishaws and brought them to Mandurah.
This was a huge hit. Now the Mandurah Chapter of the Group are buying their own trishaws.
Typically, during each day-long session, 30 people will be given a ride. The Group is now aiming to purchase two trishaws (at a cost of $18,000 each), and a large van which should serve as a storage facility as well as a means of transporting the trishaws to a location.
Brad told the meeting that their Group is wanting to expand the program to places like Pinjarra and Waroona, as it is better to take the trishaws to the people rather than them having to be bused to Mandurah.
The group is looking for sponsors whose donations can fund a van in order to get the trishaws to our town and surrounds.
A van will be able to fit 3 trishaws in – provides a ready place for storing the trishaws and minimizes damage.
While answering some questions from the floor of the meeting, Brad advised us that each trishaw costs $18,000 delivered to Mandurah from Copenhagen. The trishaws are electically-powered to ease the burden on the volunteer pilot. He observed that the oldest pilot was aged over 80 years of age.
Rotarian Laurie Galloway thanked Brad, Janet and and their supporting committee member Lisa, for coming to the Club and telling about Riding Without Age and wished them well for their endeavours.