8 a.m., July 8)
program allows seniors to get out and about
By Fred Sherwin
at Queenswood Villa enjoy a ride on a bike
provided by the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
and the Cycling Without Age program. Photo
folks who run the Queenswood Villa retirement residence
have come up with a fun and unique activity that gets
residents out and about while enjoying plenty of fresh
air and reliving some of their fondest memories.
Villa has teamed up with the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
and Cycling Without Age Ottawa to provide residents with
a twice-weekly cycling experience using a rickshaw-style
bike that’s equipped with a canopy, disc breaks and an
electric motor to assist the driver, or pilot as they
are referred to, get up hills.
bikes are configured so that up to two residents can ride
up front, while the pilot pedals from behind.
program is the brainchild of Cycling Without Age Ottawa
founder Gary Bradshaw who first saw the bikes in action
during a visit to Copenhagen in 2015. After returning
from Denmark, he approached the Village Bruyére about
purchasing a bike for their residents and he would provide
is a senior type activity that is all volunteer. The volunteers
take their time, riding slowly, and they build relationships
with the people they take out,” says Bradshaw in explaining
the attraction of the Cycling Without Age.
program was a huge success from day one and shortly afterwards
he took the idea to the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
which bought a bike of its own.
again he trained the volunteers as pilots and the agency
started offering rides as part of their day program which
is operated out of their satellite office beside Sir Wilfrid
Laurier Secondary School on Tenth Line Road.
Brunet is a summer student who has been assigned the task
of promoting the Cycling Without Age program in the local
community. One of her first calls was to Queenswood Villa
sales consultant and activity director Victoria Newark
who was immediately sold on the program.
our residents at Queenswood Villa, it’s perfect,” says
Newark. “Especially the ones with limited mobility. They
are able to go out for a trip around the neighbourhood
and feel the wind in their hair. It’s marvelous.”
residents can go out for a bike ride once every two weeks.
The first outing was held on June 3, and from all reports
it was huge success.
came back with a big smile on their face. They really
enjoyed it,” says Newark, who plans to approach her bosses
at Revera Retirement Living about purchasing a bike of
their own that could be used at all of the Revera properties
Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre also plans to purchase
a trailer so they take the bike directly to their clients.
The EORC currently has 10 volunteers trained as pilots.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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