Cycling without Age – A Mature Approach to Cycling
Cycling Without Age is a movement with about 600 volunteers who use more than 150 rickshaws in Denmark and Norway to bring variety and enjoyment to the daily lives of older people.
The Danes aren’t short on ideas. Where bikes are concerned, at least. They’ve recently got people with white hair and false teeth to give it a try. Cycling Without Age is a movement with about 600 volunteers who use more than 150 rickshaws in Denmark and Norway to bring variety and enjoyment to the daily lives of older people.
How Denmark Gets Elderly People on Bikes
It all started with one crazy idea: Dane Ole Kassow loves cycling. It struck him that many elderly people could no longer experience this wonderful feeling of freedom and independence because of their physical condition. So he rented a rickshaw, went to a retirement home and offered his pedal-power for a trip to the city. The nursing staff were enthusiastic about the idea and immediately brought an elderly lady to him.
That trip changed Ole Kassow’s life and that of many other people. The phone rang the day after his first trip. The director of the retirement home asked him what he had done to his lady passenger. The entire retirement home now wanted a trip with him. The following few days were marked by a series of wonderful excursions. “And I decided that all these adventures were far too valuable not to be shared with others,” Ole explains.
So he wrote a letter to the City Administration of Copenhagen and told them about his idea. While there are some places where you have to fight for years for permits and where bureaucratic nonsense gets in the way, happily there are still places and cities that greatly value quality of life and address people’s concerns seriously and responsibly. Copenhagen is one such place. The City was enthusiastic about this display of humanity and immediately made five rickshaws available.
That was in 2012. Today, Cycling Without Age has grown into a huge movement. Fifty cities around the world have since found people who also want to provide cycling excursions for their fellow human beings in retirement homes using converted work bikes. It’s a project that fascinates and inspires – and once again demonstrates the versatility and valuable potential of the bicycle.