life’s better on a bike
More proof that life’s better on a bike

It may have taken 2,000 kilometres of riding but the effort was worth the reward. You just had to see the smiles on the faces of sisters Audrey and Barbara Hill.

The two residents of the Freemason Home at Lindisfarne on Hobart’s Eastern Shore were the first passengers in the home’s trishaw.

They went for a spin on the Clarence Foreshore Trail on Friday after the home officially took delivery of their new mode of transportation.

On the pedals was Kenneth McDonald Kelly, one of six young Danes who brought the trishaw to Tasmania.

The group started their delivery journey in Newcastle on September 12 and delivered two trishaws in Melbourne and Geelong before crossing Bass Strait with the support of the Bass Strait ferry company TT Line.

Masonic Care, which operates the Freemasons Home, is the first Tasmanian chapter of the world-wide Cycling Without Age organisation.

Cycling Without Age started in Denmark in 2012 when keen cyclist Ole Kassow turned up an aged care home to see if any residents wanted to go for a spin.

It was an instant hit.

He ran the idea past a Copenhagen consultant, Dorthe Pedersen, and together they bought the first five trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age.

WATCH: see a report on Cycling Without Age from ABC program 7:30

Since then the organisation has expanded to 37 countries with more than 140 chapters, 1500 trishaws and 10,000 volunteer riders. More than 50,000 elderly people have now been on bike rides.

Bicycle Network in Tasmania has already put a call out for volunteer pilots (as they are called) and there is plenty of interest. And there is no age barrier as the organisation’s oldest pilot is 89.

The Freemasons Home is ideally positioned close to the foreshore trail, so residents can be travel north to Geilston Bay or south to Bellerive and beyond, which makes for a great day out.

There are other homes on the Eastern Shore also well-positioned and on the western shore the InterCity Cycleway will give easy access for others to join the project.

Cycling Without Age began in Tasmania in 2015 when Just Berkhout showed his wife Nicole a TED talk by Kassow.

The two keen cyclists started giving rickshaw rides to nursing home residents in the Channel district south of Hobart, using a borrowed bike.

Masonic Care, the Bellerive Rotary Club, and the Danish delivery riders (called Team Strib) collaborated to raise funds for the first trishaw now parked at the Freemasons Home.

Masonic Care chief executive officer Daniel Findlay said it was a fantastic idea that brought young and old together.

There are 171 Freemasons Home residents at Lindisfarne just lining up to have a go and feel the wind in their hair – perhaps for the first time on a bike.

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Together we ride