Cycling Without Age pedals senior citizens through the Treasure Valley
BOISE, ID – Many would say one of the best features of the Treasure Valley is the greenbelt system, but some have never had the chance to use the path due to mobility issues.
Cycling Without Age, a new Eagle-based volunteer program, gives seniors and the disabled a chance to feel the wind in their hair, share stories and enjoy the scenery from a comfortable seat.
Sandra Wright, 81, and Francene Tinkham, 84, say it’s been about 30 years since either of them has been on a bike. Though their pedaling days are behind them, the Sisters Villa residents are more than happy to get out for a ride with Cycling Without Age.
“Last week, our first ride, Francene and I laughed so hard for an hour that I hurt when I got home,” Wright said. “We had a good time.”
Elaine Ambrose decided to start a local chapter of Cycling Without Age after stumbling upon a Facebook video about the program.
“This guy was cycling older people around and they were laughing and they were telling stories, and it reminded me of my mom,” Ambrose said. “She was in assisted living for five years in Boise and she passed away three years ago, but she would have loved this.”
To help the program get rolling, they’re seeking volunteer “pilots” to pedal and listen.
“We just ask them their stores and then we’ll record them,” Ambrose said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”
For potential volunteers worried about their pedaling power, the trishaw has a small motor to help with the hills.
For some seniors, the chance to get out for a short ride could make a big difference in their day.
“When Elaine brings this up to the front door, it’s going to be a beautiful day,” Tinkham said.