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Taking a Trishaw trek helps riders and pilots alike

In this week’s ‘Feel Good Friday’, an introduction to “Cycling Without Age”
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:13 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - In this week’s edition of “Feel Good Friday,” we share a program that proves taking a spin could give someone a whole new perspective on life.

It’s called “Cycling Without Age,” and it’s centered on a three-wheeled contraption called the “trishaw.” It uses an electric motor to help power the human “pilot.” The rider in the front seat can then enjoy an unobstructed view.

Keith Webb, director of the program, got the idea to bring it to the area after seeing a Ted Talk by its founder from Europe a few years ago.

After securing several private donations and partnerships with area non-profits like Maumee Valley Adventurers, he purchased the $10,000 bike. Then he began calling local nursing homes to see if there were any residents who would benefit from the service, which is provided for free.

“Sometimes people are dealing with depression or loneliness and this is a good way to get them outside and maybe bring back a memory of them riding a bike,” Webb said.

Volunteer “pilots” undergo training to safely maneuver the bike. Corinne Gordon said she joined the program to meet new people in the area, and also to give back to others the joy she has derived from her time on a bike.

“A decade or so ago, I got really sick, and the way I felt like myself, and like a person again, was to get to get back to biking,” she explained.

For her first ride behind the wheel, Gordon traveled to Wildwood Metropark to give lifelong bike-enthusiast, Pat Squire, a lift. The 85-year-old says, for 40 years, riding a bike was her main form of transportation.

“You’re in charge, for one thing, but you get to see things up close that you wouldn’t get to see in a car. They zoom by and you don’t get to see the lovely flowers in somebody’s yard,” Squire explained.

Two years ago, Squire was diagnosed with a disability that forced her to give up riding. But this program allowed her to hit the trails of the local Metroparks again.

Webb says, so far, the program has been a success. And not just for the riders, but for the pilots, too.

“You know, we all get in this to help someone, but many times the person who is doing that giving, or offering of their time, they get that satisfaction of providing something for somebody that ... it’s hard to describe unless you just experience it yourself,” Webb said.

To learn more about “Cycling Without Age,” click here.

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