By Ken Hirter

Tuesday October 31 2023 marked the end of season ride with Cycling without Age for the Welcome Inn Seniors Diner Club.

James Vanderberg, Executive Director of Welcome Inn Community Centre  says it began in 2020 when the initiative to start a chapter of Cycling Without Age and partnered with New Hope Community Bikes and other partners (Hamilton Oshawa Port Authorities and McMaster).”The Hamilton chapter of CWA reached out to the Welcome Inn Community Centre in 2021 and invited us to partner with them, connecting our seniors with their ride program on a weekly basis.  The rides began with our seniors in the spring of 2021 on a weekly basis (Tuesdays). At the time, we did not have our lunch program up and running, because there were still too many COVID restrictions. When we did reopen our lunch program in September, the rides were mixed into our Tuesday lunch schedule. The rides now run from May to October each year, throughout the summer. Our seniors deeply value the program, because it gives them the chance to get out of the house and enjoy the waterfront. It also means that they get to enjoy thoughtful conversations with the volunteer drivers and spend time outdoors”.

Cycling Without Age Canada (CWACA) is a national not-for-profit organization The initiative was founded in 2012 in Denmark. Its aim is reducing social isolation and increasing both mental and physical health for all.

The bikes are trishaws with electric pedals to assist the bike pedaller. Each bike can carry 1 or 2 passengers comfortably and securely to be taken on an adventure previously unimaginable till now. The volunteer pedallers are called “pilots” and visit care homes, senior centres and community groups to offer rides on the trishaw. The ability to be outdoors is so very, very important, reconnecting with the community and chatting with the wonderful pilots which nurtures emotional well-being for the seniors. Each ride makes passengers simply smile, brings back fond memories and allows them to be part of society again, renewing their appetite for life. 

It all starts with a ride!

Look for what’s new for 2024 with the Community Ride. Seniors or anyone who has obstacles to riding a bike on their own. For more information, please visit their website at  Motto: “The right to wind blow in your hair”.

I would especially like to thank Lorraine Chapman (pilot) from the Hamilton Burlington chapter of Cycling Without Age Canada for taking the time between the rides to sit and chat about this wonderful program. Please visit their website and to learn more. https// 

Please note that the rides are free and donations are greatly appreciated. I would like to also thank the other pilots Mark Hadala and Dayna Firth for taking the delighted seniors for the last ride-about through scenic Bayfront Park and beyond.

This season end ride-about was bountiful and beautiful catching the end of the fall season in all of it colorful splendor as winter is just around the corner. 

This December, remember to continue to support, donate and support the small businesses and non profit organizations in your neighborhood.