South Okanagan Cycling Without Age chapter tops in North America

The Penticton chapter of Cycling with Age provides more rides than others in North America.

In its inaugural, full season in Penticton, the local chapter of Cycling Without Age literally topped the North American charts in rider popularity.

In a community of just 34,000, using only a fleet of two of the distinctive, electric trishaw cycles, volunteer pilots provided over 1,300 passenger rides since March. Worldwide, there are a total of 1,643 chapters in 42 countries.

Neil Pritchard was the man who brought the program, a global initiative launched in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen Denmark, to the city in 2018.

“It’s an easy and simple solution to a big problem we have in our society today. There are so many people who are lonely, elderly people who are stuck indoors not able to go out and use their senses,” Kassow told the Western News when he was in Penticton last spring to promote the program. “It’s also about just connecting to the local community and just breaking free of that loneliness, so many people are socially isolated and this is just a great way of breaking that isolation.”

Ethel Dickerson, 96, was among the residents of local care homes who took part last year and in March following her ride she described the experience as “being like children again.”

The program is one designed to take out the elderly, often shut-in residents out for bike rides in the two-seat trishaws.

READ MORE: Video: Cycling for seniors joy in the South Okanagan

The Penticton Cycling Without Age program is sponsored in part by OneSky Community Resources, Cowork Penticton with support from local businesses including The Hamlets and the Bike Barn.

OneSky screened, and helped train the volunteers to provide a free, safe service to the seniors of Penticton.

“It exceeded our objectives which we thought were pretty ambitious, I’m really pleased with it,” said founder Pritchard. “Am I surprised? No.

“It was a real focus, a strong plan as to how we get there, it’s been a lot of fun but gratifying as well to see the numbers we projected that nobody believed then to hear that little Penticton is ahead of every other city in North America was astounding.”

During the first year he was able to recruit 41 volunteers from all walks of life who took the training regimen.

One of those people was Lynn Cook.

“It was one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in a very long time. The riders are so appreciative and their comments are just heart warming and see the big smile on their faces,” said Cook.

There are plans to add another two trishaws for next year’s program as well as more volunteers with the plan to expand the service to a dozen or more centres in Penticton.

For an in-depth look at at this year’s program see the Friday edition of the Penticton Western News.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Low-level meth dealer gets 6 months jail time in Vernon

BC Supreme Court Justice’s sentence concludes case related to June 2017 offence

Vernon perfect getaway for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, mayor says

Family-oriented community also home to Royal interests; film and helicopter industries

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

True Stories: memoir-writers, reading at Vernon centre

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

WATCH: Don’t just blame AIM, all North Okanagan road crews struggling

City streets are just as bad, if not worse, than highways

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Coquihalla, Highway 3 to be hit with freezing rain, sparking warning to commuters

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

‘Lift for Wills’ community fundraiser to support Penticton boy fighting cancer

This Sunday, stop by World Gym Penticton for by-donation drop-in classes, a silent auction, more.

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the move… to Kelowna?

The royal couple is looking for some new digs and Kelowna has a lot to offer!

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

Most Read