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Seniors celebrate Cycling Without Age

Because everyone, regardless of age, should have the chance to feel wind in their hair, the City of Lakewood has become a partner with Eaton Senior Communities on the purchase of two special bicycles called trishaws that provide cycling options for seniors. Please join us for a kickoff to celebrate these fantastic bikes at 9 a.m. on October 10.  The kickoff begins with a ribbon-cutting at Eaton Senior Communities, 333 S. Eaton St., followed by the two bikes heading to Lakewood Civic Center, 480 S. Allison Parkway, to meet Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul at 10 a.m. Please join us at the Civic Center to welcome these great additions to the community!

 

The trishaws have a traditional handlebar setup and seat, where a pilot sits, and a comfortable two-seat chair on the front of the bicycle, allowing for adult riders. The idea for the trishaw came from a group in Copenhagen called Cycling Without Age, dedicated to improving the lives of older adults through joy and continued mobility.

 

The Lakewood initiative began when Gary Harty of Lakewood’s Bicycle Advisory Team proposed the trishaws to the wellness director at Eaton Senior Communities.  Harty was looking for an organization that could help raise funds to purchase a trishaw, and Eaton agreed, committing to purchase one even if fundraising goals were not met. The fundraising campaign began in early 2017 and involved going to bicycle shops, sending out donor emails, and calling friends and bicycle advocates. In July, enough money was raised to order the first trishaw. The City of Lakewood decided to become a partner in the initiative and supported the purchase of a second trishaw. The trishaws will be housed at Eaton but available for Lakewood to use at organized events and programs. The Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team will coordinate transportation of the trishaws to any city events or facilities.

 

The buzz about the new bikes spread quickly at Eaton, with rides filling up quickly. Just this past Monday, Eaton resident Grace took her first ride with her friend Shirley, and quickly after asked staff when she could go again. Many residents have stopped Eaton Foundation Administrator Liz Grieser to tell her that their rides were “the best thing!” Grieser notes that Eaton residents are quite adventurous and willing to try anything new. Their average age is 79, and their oldest resident is 101. Eaton currently has two rides scheduled per weekday, with Harty looking to recruit more “pilots” to train for this program. When more people complete the four-hour training necessary to steer the bikes, Eaton can expand the offered ride times.

 

Special thanks to Eaton Senior Communities, offering independent apartments and assisted living at Eaton Street and Alameda Avenue, and Gary Harty and the Lakewood Bicycle Advisory Team for their commitment to this project. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer pilot, please contact Gary Harty at 303-929-5477 or g.harty04@comcast.net.

Posted on: Friday, September 29, 2017