South Okanagan Cycling Without Age chapter tops in North America

South Okanagan Cycling Without Age chapter tops in North America

The Penticton chapter of Cycling with Age provides more rides than others in North America.

In its inaugural, full season in Penticton, the local chapter of Cycling Without Age literally topped the North American charts in rider popularity.

In a community of just 34,000, using only a fleet of two of the distinctive, electric trishaw cycles, volunteer pilots provided over 1,300 passenger rides since March. Worldwide, there are a total of 1,643 chapters in 42 countries.

Neil Pritchard was the man who brought the program, a global initiative launched in 2012 by Ole Kassow in Copenhagen Denmark, to the city in 2018.

“It’s an easy and simple solution to a big problem we have in our society today. There are so many people who are lonely, elderly people who are stuck indoors not able to go out and use their senses,” Kassow told the Western News when he was in Penticton last spring to promote the program. “It’s also about just connecting to the local community and just breaking free of that loneliness, so many people are socially isolated and this is just a great way of breaking that isolation.”

Ethel Dickerson, 96, was among the residents of local care homes who took part last year and in March following her ride she described the experience as “being like children again.”

The program is one designed to take out the elderly, often shut-in residents out for bike rides in the two-seat trishaws.

READ MORE: Video: Cycling for seniors joy in the South Okanagan

The Penticton Cycling Without Age program is sponsored in part by OneSky Community Resources, Cowork Penticton with support from local businesses including The Hamlets and the Bike Barn.

OneSky screened, and helped train the volunteers to provide a free, safe service to the seniors of Penticton.

“It exceeded our objectives which we thought were pretty ambitious, I’m really pleased with it,” said founder Pritchard. “Am I surprised? No.

“It was a real focus, a strong plan as to how we get there, it’s been a lot of fun but gratifying as well to see the numbers we projected that nobody believed then to hear that little Penticton is ahead of every other city in North America was astounding.”

During the first year he was able to recruit 41 volunteers from all walks of life who took the training regimen.

One of those people was Lynn Cook.

“It was one of the most gratifying things I’ve done in a very long time. The riders are so appreciative and their comments are just heart warming and see the big smile on their faces,” said Cook.

There are plans to add another two trishaws for next year’s program as well as more volunteers with the plan to expand the service to a dozen or more centres in Penticton.

For an in-depth look at at this year’s program see the Friday edition of the Penticton Western News.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Lowering the flags is official protocol following the death of a member of the British Royal Family, according to Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne. (Spotlight photo)
Town flags lowered out of respect for Prince Phillip

The practice follows official protocol when a member of the British Royal Family dies.

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Since April 4, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Vancouver the largest source of domestic flights with COVID-19 cases: data

This month alone, 38 flights with COVID-19 cases have departed from Vancouver International Airport, while 23 arrived

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

RCMP cruiser, no date.
Threats against RCMP lead to high-risk situation in Ashcroft

Distraught man made threats directed at police, potentially had access to firearms

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $82M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

A Canada goose honks at other birds at Salish Park on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Goose addling program underway in Vernon

2021 cull applications in process as addling program enters 15th year

The Columbia Valley Wetlands are known for their extensive and fragile ecosystem. (File photo)
Wildsight speaks out against logging in Columbia Wetlands

Located 50 kms south of Golden, the proposed operation was justified as bark beetle management

Most Read