CEDARBURG -- Our first form of going for a ride is usually a tricycle. Well, the thrill of a the three wheels never goes away, and now a lucky group in Wisconsin is again able to feel the wind in their hair. It's the story of a special bicycle built for seniors!
Cycling Without Age
The freedom of the open road is often taken away as we get older. Age and injury made Alice Dietrch put on the brakes.
"I had a fractured knee, I couldn't ride," said Alice.
But her love for riding a bicycle never went away.
"It's a lot of fun," said Alice.
Now, Alice is able to get that thrill again -- but says it's even better than before.
"I don't have to pedal," Alice said.
That's right! Alice's tricycle is powered by a volunteer pilot's feet.
"I'm really going to enjoy it," said Elizabeth Hembel, senior citizen.
It gives Alice and her best friend, Elizabeth, a chance to be a part of the outdoors once again.
Alice and Elizabeth
"Because very often when you're in a nursing home you don't really get to go out and experience the landscape, the city, the forest, the beach, or whatever it might be. I want people to feel alive all the way through their lives and also to build bridges between generations," said Ole Kassow, Cycling Without Age Founder.
Ole Kassow created the 'Cycling Without Age' bike after seeing many elderly people in Copenhagen, Denmark unable to ride.
"I just showed up at the local nursing home with a rickshaw and offered rides," said Kassow.
The idea took off in Denmark, and soon the U.S. climbed aboard. Wisconsin was the first state to own this style of rickshaw for seniors.
"It looks like people in Wisconsin have completely embraced it and you can tell the smiles are all the same with the residents and tenants who come out and once again feel the wind in their hair," said Kassow.
Alice and Elizabeth have big plans for their new found mode of transportation.
"Get an ice cream...or a glass of wine, or a beer, or a bratwurst -- or a strawberry brat," said Elizabeth.
Cycling Without Age
All of the bike pilots are volunteers in the community. They will receive formal training on how to ride the bikes and care for the seniors on board. In all, there are 20 cities around the U.S. with these tricycles. The first city to receive them was Oshkosh.
Lasata Senior Living Campus is in need of your help to help pay for bike maintenance as well as safety accessories. If you'd like to donate, CLICK HERE.