Sometimes seeing a need and making one seemingly small step towards addressing it can make a world of difference.
Such was the case with Ole Kassow, an avid cyclist from Copenhagen, Denmark who became inspired one day when cycling by Thorkild, a (now) 97 year old resident from his local nursing home.
“I saw Thorkild two and a half years ago when I was cycling to work…I saw him sitting on a bench and I thought he would probably enjoy cycling and he probably did [as a] young man…so one day I hired a rickshaw and I started taking the residents from [the] nursing home out for rides.”
Cycling elders around in a classic Copenhagen rickshaw was Ole’s way of connecting with his elderly neighbors and engaging those with limited mobility. The one-person act soon grew into a much larger endeavor for the entire community. As news and excitement about the rickshaw rides spread, local cyclists and nearby nursing home communities began to express an interest in being involved. Two and half years later, Cycling Without Age has expanded from one cyclist (or “pilot”) and his bike to more than 300 locations with 2000+ volunteer pilots.
Ingrid Shaffer, rickshaw passenger and resident of Faelledgarden Nursing Home, shared her experience with the project, “…now that Ole Kassow has started this project with the rickshaws, we suddenly get a completely different life because we are being counted.”
Cycling Without Age has touched more than 20,000 elders, in 25 cities and 14 countries–and continues to grow.
Learn more about this project watch the video below. Or visit the website for more information on how you can be involved.