Cycling Without Age is a movement started in 2012 by Ole Kassow. Ole wanted to help the elderly get back on their bicycles, but he had to find a solution to their limited mobility. The answer was a trishaw and he started offering free bike rides to the local nursing home residents.
He then got in touch with a civil society consultant from the City of Copenhagen, Dorthe Pedersen, who was intrigued by the idea and together they bought five trishaws and launched Cycling Without Age, which has now spread to all corners of Denmark, and since 2015 to another 40 countries around the world.
We dream of creating a world together, in which the access to active citizenship creates happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.
We do that by giving them the right to wind in their hair, the right to experience the city and nature close up from the bicycle and by giving them an opportunity to tell their story in the environment where they have lived their lives.
That way we build bridges between generations and we reinforce trust, respect and the social glue in our society.
Our Guiding Principles
Generosity: Cycling Without Age is based on generosity and kindness. It starts with the obvious generous act of taking one or two elderly or less-abled people out on a bike ride. It’s a simple act that everyone can do.
Slowness: Slowness allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment and it allows people you meet along the way to be curious and gain knowledge about Cycling Without Age because you make time to stop and talk.
Storytelling: Elderly people have so many stories that will be forgotten if we don’t reach out and listen to them. We tell stories, we listen to stories on the bike and we also document the stories when we share them via word of mouth or on social media.
Relationships: Cycling Without Age is about creating a multitude of new relationships: between generations, among the elderly, between pilots and passengers, nursing homes employees and family members. Relationships build trust, happiness and quality of life.
Without Age: Life does not end when you turn 75. Life unfolds at all ages, young and old, and can be thrilling, fun, sad, beautiful and meaningful. Cycling Without Age is about letting people age in a positive context – fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead when interacting in their local community.
To read more about how we work with the guiding principles, and how it relates to the Sustainable Development Goals, click here.
The Innovative Force of Cycling Without Age
By virtue of being a grassroots movement CWA’s innovative force lies in the grassroots. On our continued ability to innovate, to challenge the system and to break barriers relies on a strong community of practice and an ability to identify and disseminate great ideas and experiments.
How It Works
Volunteers (pilots) sign up for bike rides with the elderly as often or as rarely as they want to. It’s all driven by people’s own motivation. At present (October 2018) more than 1,200 chapter locations around the world offer Cycling Without Age from well over 2,000 trishaws – and the numbers are still growing. More than 13,000 pilots ensure that the elderly get out of their nursing homes, out on the bikes to enjoy the fresh air and the community around them. They give them the right to wind in their hair.
Watch how it all started
Cycling Without Age
Sundkaj 7, 2
2150 Nordhavn, Copenhagen
Organizational number: DK36655305
Entrance to the building
Meet the Team
+45 31 34 19 80
Global Community Captain
+45 53 62 19 79
+45 41 57 41 61
Community Captain, SoMe
+45 26 14 31 11
Community Captain, Web
+45 27 83 81 90
+45 21 28 01 74
Airbnb Programme Captain
+45 52 71 66 26
Airbnb Programme Captain
+45 31 77 91 79
Airbnb Bike Host
+45 28 20 09 18
Community Captain, Admin
+45 20 74 21 26
Meet the Executive Committee
From left to right:
Ole Kassow, Chairman
Pernille Vedersø Bussone
Søren Stig Nielsen