A free cycling service that helps isolated seniors get out of their homes and into the great outdoors will be rolling along the Hope River Rotary Trail this weekend, with COVID-19 protocols now in place.
The Chilliwack/Yarrow Chapter of Cycling Without Age rolled out its shiny new trishaw bike in the spring of 2019. A trishaw is similar to a rickshaw, but with the two passengers seated at the front and the pilot pedalling behind them.
They got off to a great start. With help from donations and grants, they secured a second bike earlier this year and purchased a trailer to transport the trishaws to different trail networks in the community.
“And then along came COVID-19, and that number of isolated and housebound folks multiplied exponentially,” said Suzy Coulter with the local chapter.
But with the help of an infectious disease physician on its steering committee, the local chapter was able to adapt to the times of the pandemic and was soon out again offering free rides to seniors.
“We headed back to the drawing board, developed some careful COVID protocols and are more determined than ever to offer safe free bike rides on the beautiful trails around our community.”
The COVID protocols mean masks for the pilots and sanitizing of the trishaw before and after each passenger.
Additionally, they are asking that the passenger be able to get on and off the bike without their assistance – they recommend a member of the passenger’s bubble help them onto the bike if necessary.
“As public health leaders recommend, fresh air activities are best, connection with others is critical for mental health and so it seems that an adapted Cycling Without Age program is in the perfect position to help some of our most vulnerable citizens cope with these challenging times,” Coulter said.
For an introduction and to take a ride on one of the trishaws, you can find them on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. along the Hope River Rotary Trail.
For more information call 604-823-0257 (Yarrow Community School office) or visit their Facebook page: Cycling Without Age Yarrow.