I must have been around 4 years old when the training wheels finally came off my first bike and suddenly I had Gedling Grove at my mercy. Since those heady days back in my native Nottingham, a city famed for manufacturing Raleigh bicycles, a bike has always been close at hand. The different phases of my life have been mirrored by the type of bikes I have owned, from the Raleigh Chopper to hand-built MTBs. And now in my late 50s perched on a classic retro bicycle, criss crossing Copenhagen’s impressive network of bike lanes, sensing the city’s karma and feeling the bite of a cold February morning on my cheeks. This for me is the essence of cycling, being in tune with my own local environment and it is precisely this feature that the social entrepreneur, Ole Kassow, tapped into when he founded Cycling Without Age in 2013.
This wonderful initiative simply offers senior and nursing homes residents a bike trip in a rick-shaw, powered by one of Cycling Without Age’s 2,500 volunteers. Many of Copenhagen’s senior grew up in a time when cycling was as normal as wearing a hat. Ole’s project not only provides fond memories for many residents, but also the joy of discovering one’s local neighborhood on a bicycle. The concept is now attracting global attention with Norway and the USA leading the way.
Cycling Without Age is a shining example of what can happen when a social entrepreneur, a progressive municipality and an army of volunteers equipped with 400 rick-shaws put their heads together connecting generations of Copenhagen’s residents seen from the saddle of a bicycle.
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Photo & Video credits: Cycling Without Age