SENIORS and less able people can feel the wind in their hair as they ride along coastal paths on specialised trishaws as part of a volunteer-run global movement.
Sorrento resident Alanagh Tolley Godderidge has become the first trishaw pilot in Perth to offer the service to elderly people and people with disabilities.
The trishaw, from Copenhagen, was recently delivered to Mrs Godderidge who begun trial rides up and down the coast this week to get used to the bike.
The mother-of-three plans to offer the free daily service to passengers mid-February, by cycling and picking up passengers along West Coast Drive from Sorrento to Mullaloo or Trigg.
Mrs Godderidge said she got the idea after watching a YouTube video of a man in Scotland who visited a local nursing home and took the residents out for trishaw rides.
“I thought this was brilliant and started investigating my own trike,” she said.
“This was when I discovered Cycling Without Age (CWA), a global movement which cycles the elderly through the simple act of generosity, story telling and building relationships.”
To get the idea off the ground in Perth, Mrs Godderidge secured funding from Blue Ripple Foundation for the trike and Royal Wolf Sea Containers supplied her with a safe place to store it.
She said donations from family and friends helped her establish the first CWA branch in WA with fellow trishaw pilots Karen O’Connor (Rosmoyne) and Jennifer Paterson (Cottesloe).
There are more than 20 CWA trishaws in Australia, including another two covering Melville and Rossmoyne that were delivered to WA this month.
Mrs Godderidge said one of the trikes was going to a nursing home where volunteers would pilot the bike for the residents.
“We plan on empowering more nursing homes and are aiming for another 10 trikes by the time the year is out,” she said.
“I don’t work with the elderly, though I have thought how life would treat me when I am older.
“Feeling the wind in my hair is a lovely thought I think.
“I have every belief that someone will be riding me up and down the coast in years to come.”
CWA Australia founder Dorthe Pedersen said in five years the “movement” had spread from a nursing home in Copenhagen to 38 countries.
“We want to make sure no one feels isolated and lonely and are left cooped up all by themselves,” she said.
“The trike is a brilliant tool to bring people together and address some of these crucial (mental) health issues.”
Ms Pederson said there were affiliates signed up in all states (except the Northern Territory), with local individual initiators, care groups or community organisations wanting to bring the movement to their area.
“Some affiliates already have their trikes in place, others are still fundraising – and others are waiting for the trikes to be delivered,” she said.
“We have approximately 20 trikes running by now – and more will soon be on the streets.”
At the moment the local rides are in the trial stage but CWA WA, which will launch on February 24 at Hillary’s Boat Harbour, will soon have a Google calendar set up to schedule rides.
Details will be put on the Cycling Without Age – Western Australia Facebook page.
Hillary’s Boat Harbour ampitheatre
Saturday, February 24 from 9-11am
Cycling without Age:
Established in 2012 in Copenhagen
Represented in 38 countries worldwide
Has more than 1500+ trishaws
More than 10,000 trained cycle pilots
Over 50,000 elderly people have been on rides
The oldest pilot is 89 and oldest passenger 106
The trishaws cycle 2.2 million km a year or 53 times around the world