#WATWB: The Cycles of Love

Those who know me know that I love my bicycle. They know I ride as much as possible in the summer, as it is a passion on two wheels.

While attempting to find a positive story for this month’s “We Are the World Blogfest,” I found two local, cycling-related projects that I hope will bring as big a smile to your face as they did mine.

Riverview Gardens – Earn a Bike

Riverview Gardens is a non-profit organization in Appleton, Wisconsin, with a mission to provide job training for people in need, to transform their lives and our community. Riverview believes in the dignity of hard work and allowing people to be part of their own solution.

The Earn-A-Bike Program is an opportunity for community members to work together to address a common barrier to employment and community engagement, providing low cost, reliable, and low maintenance transportation to people who need a bike. Participants do not have to be enrolled in any other programming at Riverview Gardens. Self-identified people in need of a bicycle volunteer 15 hours in any capacity in exchange for ownership of a bicycle and safety gear (lock, light, and helmet). Once earned, a bicycle can be brought back to the Earn-A-Bike shop for free repairs and tune-ups.

Brewster Village – Cycling Without Age

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and he started offering free bike rides to local nursing home residents. He got in touch with a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea, and together they bought the first 5 trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and to 28 countries around the world.

The Cycling Without Age movement is present at Brewster Village, a county nursing home in Appleton. Click on the link below, then find the video under the photo.

Cycling Without Age Fox News

Fox Cities Greenways, Inc. has partnered with Brewster Village and Fox Cities Cycling to establish a Cycling Without Age program in the Fox Cities.  Fox Cities Greenways has donated the first rickshaw to Brewster Village as part of its initiative to not only increase the use of trails, but make them available to people regardless of age or ability. Brewster Village’s goal is to build a fleet of rickshaws to serve the residents of Brewster Village and the Fox Cities. In future years, the program will expand to include additional rickshaws, locations, and cities in the Fox Valley.

Cycling Without Age Video


watw-turquoise-badge-275-x241-whiteThe “We are the World” Blogfest is in its second month of a year-long journey. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Peter Nena, Inderpreet Kaur UppalSimon Falk,  Belinda Witzenhausen and Mary Giese welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time between now and February of 2018.

Please SIGN UP for WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

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46 responses to #WATWB: The Cycles of Love

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yes, I think it’s way cool too, Lynn. It’s another great way to provide stimulation to the elderly rather than letting them sit all day.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’ve been thinking about the trishaw pilots…wondering if I could volunteer. I would love to bike the elderly around and see their smiles!

  1. joey says:

    That’s really great stuff. What a way to serve 🙂 Are you looking into it? That has to be a serious workout!

  2. pjlazos says:

    Wow — this is great! My husband has MS and this could be a way for us to get back to biking again! thank you. :0)

  3. Ally Bean says:

    These are great programs. While personally not a fan of riding on a bicycle, I love these ideas for helping people who do want to ride on a bicycle, do so. Of course the whole rickshaw thing appeals to me. Do I really have to wait 30 years to be eligible to get a ride?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I know, right? I would go for a ride or give a ride any time…to anyone. It’s so special that those who can no longer pedal can still enjoy the feeling of fresh air hitting their face while going for a ride.

      • Ally Bean says:

        I agree. It’s wonderful, and such a simple idea. Hope it catches on elsewhere.

  4. Oh what fabulous stories – truly inspiration. Our worlds expand literally and figuratively when we’re able to get out, and finding ways to provide this gift to others just makes my heart sing. Thanks for sharing, and for co-hosting this month’s gathering of wonderfulness.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You are welcome, Deborah! I hope that when I am no longer to ride my bicycle, someone will take me for a ride. I hope the trishaws become commonplace in the years to come.

  5. Oh, fabulous projects, both of them! And how fab of you to share them, Mary. Thankyou for your help with cohosting this month!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m happy to help out, Damyanti. So far, I’ve read many wonderful stories that give me hope for humanity. This blogfest was an excellent idea put into action. Thank you for getting it started.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I am so proud of and excited for my community. It’s becoming more and more of a bicycling environment, with new plans for trails popping up every year. I only wish the nice weather lasted longer so everyone could enjoy the trails for more of the year.

      • ericlahti says:

        We’ve got good weather and a lot of bike lanes, but we also have a lot of crazies with big trucks, so I tend to stick to back roads and trails.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        The crazies are the reason why I stick to trails. I’m not a fan of road biking…makes me too nervous and then I don’t enjoy the ride.

  6. Love it! I used to cart my little boys around in a pull behind “buggy” and one on the bike seat. My oldest could ride his own. I love the trishaws with a passenger up front, getting some “wind time.”
    (Thanks for visiting my blog today.)

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I see a few parents in the area with kids in the pull-behinds. I suspect both the kids and the elderly love their wind time!

  7. KDKH says:

    That sounds so wonderful! I’d bet the earn-a-bike program could take off here… we have public transportation, but it doesn’t promote fitness and can take a really long time if you are off the main arteries. Thanks for sharing!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’d really love to see this spread to more cities across the country. Whether it’s for the elderly or disabled, or a mode of public transportation, it’s a good service and good for the planet.

  8. BellyBytes says:

    As an Indian I am amused by the trishaw. For years it was the only means of transport in small Indian towns. The people from the West were shocked by this apparent exploitation of human labour and slowly but surely this method of transport has died out in our country. Instead we now have a horrible contraption called the ‘Rickshaw” or a three wheeler that is a modified motor bike or scooter that pollutes the environment with noise and smoke!
    So isn’t it strange that those people who wanted our eco friendly cycle rickshaws to stop plying, who destroyed the livelihood of several Indians are now rooting for this mode of transport?
    The circle comes round again.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It’s very interesting how one culture can mess it up for another. I’m not sure how anyone considered the trishaw exploitation if it was a form of transportation for small towns. I’m sorry you gained a polluting rickshaw instead of leaving things as they were.

  9. Susan Scott says:

    These are amazing stories thank you! Here in South Africa we are bike mad and host international cycle races. I FB’d this story and am hoping that someone or some many here will pick up on this great idea for SA.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome, Susan. I think the Cycling Without Age program could be adopted in any city with nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Why not, right?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Inderpreet, I would give you a ride! Today the weather is not so nice, so I don’t think there will be trishaw or rickshaw rides at Brewster. But, soon…

  10. Dan Antion says:

    Wow – Not only was my comment missing, but it appears I didn’t even like this post. So far from the truth – I do like this post. I really like this post. I read this post on Friday and I did the like thingie and I posted a comment.

    The two programs are very good examples of the way a community can encourage people to be mobile, active and healthy. I really like the fact that after earning a bike in the first program, people can bring it back for repairs. The people who design “official” programs to help people, often overlook the fact that things break and repairs and maintenance are required but might also be out of reach.

    As for Cycling Without Age, I think that’s a great idea. I haven’t seen a trishaw, but I sometimes see a woman who rides a trike on the path Maddie and I take. I would imagine that even being ridden around in a trishaw would make you feel young again.

    Thanks for bringing us two great stories and thanks so much for co-hosing this blogfest. When I find my other laptop, I’m gonna smack it and WordPress.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I thought it was weird that I didn’t see a like or a comment from you. I’ve done that myself…thought I liked and commented on a post only to realize much later that it didn’t “take.” Weirdness!

      Anyhow, thanks for your lovely comments about the cycling programs. They truly are awesome for the community and the people they serve.

  11. Two fantastic projects!
    The Earn-A-Bike Program is a practical way to address unemployment…and think of the social benefits and bonding amongst community members…and added health benefits!! It’s a win-win-win!
    Cycling Without Age has spread to 28 countries around the world? I wonder if it’s here in our country?
    Writer In Transit #WATWB

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The programs are big winners, Michelle. I don’t know if CWA is in your country, but I can certainly see this popping up in many more places in years to come.

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