Cycling group gives bike rides to those who can't hit the trails themselves

Two elderly people take a ride on a trishaw with Cycling without Age (Photo:WTHR/Alyssa Raymond)
Cycling without Age
Senior Hoosiers stay active without Cycling without Age

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — If you love bike riding and helping people, Cycling Without Age is for you.

Cycling Without Age started about seven years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark, but Deborah Gardner brought it to Indianapolis in July 2018. It's a way to help older people get moving and enjoy some fresh air.

Volunteers use what's called a "trishaw" to move people around town. It's an adult tricycle but with two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back. They refer to it as "a couch on wheels."

Volunteers and passengers get to cruise along places such as Fall Creek, the Monon and the Cultural Trail, all for free.

If this sounds like fun to you, Cycling Without Age of Greater Indianapolis could always use more volunteers. You could be a pilot or an escort, but the only qualification you need is to know how to ride a bike. Escorts need to provide their own bike and helmet. Pilots require a few more hours of training than escorts.

Escorts do the following tasks:

  • Help load an unload the trishaw from the trailer
  • Help passengers get on and off the trishaw
  • Help place helmets on the passengers
  • Make sure the path is clear for the trishaw
  • Notify the pilot of potential dangers on the path like potholes, roots, broken glass and debris
  • Warn others on the path that the trishaw is coming

Pilots do the following tasks:

  • Make sure all necessary paperwork is completed
  • Make sure the trishaw is stable during passenger loading and unloading
  • Pay attention to the escort so the path is safely traveled
  • Engage in conversation with the passengers
  • Point out the scenery and points of interest during the ride
  • Ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for the passengers

Anyone can sign up to help escort online.