Specialized bicycles give Winnipeg seniors a chance to explore

WINNIPEG —; The spring weather has many Winnipeggers getting their bikes out for the season, and one local group is hoping to give that feeling to people at any age.

Cycling Without Age (CWA) launched its Winnipeg chapter Tuesday. The group is dedicated to helping people with limited mobility get out cycling. Volunteers use a specialized trishaw, a mix between a tricycle and a rickshaw, to give rides seniors or those living with a disability a ride around the community.

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“It’s a program where volunteers take elderly people out for bike rides in these specially made trikes,” Ole Kassow, founder of CWA said.

“Very often elderly people tend to get isolated and don’t get to go outside, and that has a dramatic and negative consequence on their life.”

Kassow first launched the program in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark —; one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.

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Kassow said he 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 trishaw and he then started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.

The program is quickly spreading around the world and it now has more than 8,000 volunteers.

Last year Kassow said he met two Winnipeggers in Copenhagen who wanted to bring the program to the city.  So Kassow came to the city to help launch CWA, and is hoping it will be a huge success.

“Cycling is a chance to get your senses stimulated and also being around other people. You form relationships and friendships,” he said.

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