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Let’s ride! Program offers trishaw transportation to older adults

Make the Ride Happen: Cycling Without Age is expanding its network of trained volunteers to provide trishaw bicycle rides, allowing seniors to spend time outdoors interacting with their community, thanks to a $6,240 grant to Fox Cities Greenways, Inc. from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation. Two more Community Foundation funds gave grants toward this project including a $3,000 grant from the The Jewelers Mutual Charitable Giving Fund and a $1,000 grant from a fund wishing to remain anonymous.

By Cheryl Zadrazil, Fox Cities Greenways Inc.

While many of us are looking forward to riding bicycles this summer, there are people in our community with mobility issues or who lack the independence to experience the joys of cycling and the benefits of being outdoors. We’re thrilled to announce a new expansion to our Make the Ride Happen program, which currently coordinates vehicle transportation options for non-driving seniors.

We’re soon providing transportation via trishaw to give older adults and those with differing abilities a chance to enjoy biking in a unique way. Much like a rickshaw, a trishaw is a pedal-assist cargo bike with three wheels that can fit one to two passengers.

Cycling Without Age is a movement started in Copenhagen in 2012. We’re taking that program and helping older adults remain healthy, vital and contributing members of the Fox Valley. Older adults and those with differing abilities can schedule free trishaw rides for recreation or transportation. This program is slated to begin this summer, and will not only engage our community, but will impact the quality of life for both passengers and volunteers, increase social connections, provide the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors, and support active aging.

(L to R) Cheryl Zadrazil, Fox Cities Greenways, Inc.; Carol Bloemer, Volunteer Fox Cities; Kim Biedermann, and Nick Musson (not present), East Central Regional Planning Commission, Michelle Bachaus, WI Bike Federation; Holly Keenan, Make the Ride Happen.

This initiative is a partnership of Fox Cities Greenways, Inc., Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Volunteer Fox Cities, the Wisconsin Bike Federation and the East Central Regional Planning Commission. We’re thrilled to be a recipient of a grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley. Thanks to generous donors, we are able to expand our network and add trained volunteers who provide free trishaw rides that will allow older adults and those with differing abilities the opportunity to spend time outdoors enjoying our parks, trails and communities.

Fox Cities Greenways donated the first trishaw and will raise funds for the second trishaw and a trailer. Volunteer Fox Cities will assist with recruitment and management of volunteers. Wisconsin Bike Federation will provide volunteer training, a trishaw preventative maintenance checklist, training for trishaw repair people, and more. Lutheran Social Services/Make the Ride Happen will coordinate and manage the Cycling Without Age program.

Each of our volunteer trishaw pilots are certified and have several hours of piloting the trishaw before independently taking passengers for a trishaw ride. Typical trishaw rides are 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length, depending on your location, comfort and destination. Many passengers enjoy rides to community parks and trails, but  we are available to take you to specific destinations.

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How to help

We’ve got many ways to help make the ride happen. First, consider volunteering to pilot pedal trishaws and ride with amazing people! You can also be an event host and let us pedal trishaws for your organization.  We also need sponsors to help us support the program and purchase our trishaws.

  • To volunteer contact [email protected] or  call 920-832-9360.
  • To schedule a ride, contact  [email protected] or 920-225-1719.
  • To donate, please mail checks to Fox Cities Greenways, Inc. P.O. Box 5 Menasha, WI  54952-0005.

Photo Caption: Make the Ride Happen: Cycling Without Age recently provided trishaw rides for residents at Touchmark for their April 24th Earth Day event.

You can make the Bright Ideas burn even brighter by adding your support.

Check out our current Bright Idea Fund results from 2018 – 2019!
See how our Bright Idea Fund impacted our community last year.

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