Getting to ride again

Published: Jul. 20, 2017 at 11:24 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The feeling of being on a bike is something you never forget. Even if you have memory loss or dementia.

A program called cycling without age, that started in Denmark and has spread to 28 countries around the world, is getting seniors back on bikes with amazing results. Volunteer pilots maneuver the motorized rickshaws while one or two people ride along up front. The connection to the experience for the riders is remarkable.

"It really does bring back memories for folks because when you’re tackling all of those different senses at once the sound and the smell and the sight and you’re bringing all of this together you start reminiscing while you’re biking it just is really powerful.A powerful way to connect with people," said volunteer pilot Julie Hyland.

"My mom's been living here about a year and last summer we took a bunch of rides and just loved it," said Cheryl Heilman, mom of Lois who participated in the program.

"Some people aren't verbal anymore. So just seeing a smile on their face or maybe, you know, they had a furrowed brow and they're now relaxed or just closing their eyes and just taking in nature is, it's all worth it," said Oakwood Village Life Enrichment Director Stephanie Burris.

The pilots are all volunteers and they can always use more. To find out if there’s a program near you visit