Like so many of the best cycling ideas, Cycling Without Age was started in Copenhagen. Ole Kassow wanted to help older folk enjoy the freedoms of cycling so he started using rickshaws to offer free rides to the residents of his local nursing home. The municipality of Copenhagen recognised the strength of the idea and helped buy 5 rickshaws, which helped the project spread to all corners of Scandinavia and beyond.
Cycling without Age projects are now springing up from Argentina to Singapore – Britain already boasts a handful – and the organisers are looking for more volunteers.
The Cycling without Age website describes the project’s ethos as follows:
We are all heading on the same path that our grandparents were on. It is an inevitable journey of life. Cycling Without Age reminds us of that relationship with our elders and on our five guiding principles that we abide by.
It starts with the simple act of generosity. Give our time to them when they gave us their care and time. There are a lot of stories to be shared through storytelling from our elders, but also from us. They want to listen to us too and through this bridge we form relationships. We take our time, and the act of cycling slowly helps us take in the experience and appreciate it. Without age is the principle of how life does not end at a given age, but instead we can embrace what each generation has to offer through something as simple as cycling.
Visit the Cycling without Age website to find out more and support the movement.
Outreach programmes like Cycling without Age are notoriously difficult to find funding for in Britain. Despite being a proven way of encouraging people onto two wheels, politicians in Britain are reluctant to support such ‘soft measures’ because they don’t have the legacy of physical infrastructure. It’s a short-sighted approach that will see us continue to lag behind other European countries.
Riding a bicycle allows you to be entirely self-reliant, but its real power is the connections it makes possible. It’s hard to cycle without feeling connected with the road, the weather, the way your body is working and, most importantly, with people.
Cycling is an experience never forgotten. When our own Back on a Bike roadshow visits day care centres with our fleet of bikes, the sight of our colourful Pashleys is enough to have folk reminiscing about rides gone by. Cycling, even if only as a child many decades ago, is such a visceral experience that it always prompts a trip down memory lane.
Environmentally friendly cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the excess you are charged in the event of a claim is just one of the things that varies wildly between providers. Another is so called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use this term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
ETA cycle insurance has a low standard excess of 5% (minimum £25) and offers a new-for-old for life – however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future – just one of the reasons The Good Shopping Guide has rated us ethical in Britain.