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50 ‘Cycling Without Age’ cargo trikes now in use across Ireland helping care home residents get outdoors

Cycling Without Age — a group dedicated to promoting cargo trikes with passenger space for people who cannot cycle — started in Ireland five years ago, say they now know of at least 50 such cargo trikes in use across the country.

On June 13 the group celebrated its 5th anniversary in Ireland. It started with one demonstration ‘trishaw’, the name given to its passenger-carrying cargo trike, to show off the concept which started in Copenhagen.

Clara Clark, founder of Cycling Without Age in Ireland said: “We now have 50, yes, fifty, trishaws in different parts of Ireland. The initial intake of trishaws was to care homes, but more recently the uptake is from local authorities. To date, the following Councils though their Local Sports Partnerships have purchased multiple trishaws for community use.”

Clark said: “The past two years have been very tough on our care homes and community hospitals, and many of the trishaws were ‘cocooned’ along with the lovely residents.”

She said she hoped the bikes were now being used more to help residents get out in the fresh air and nature, which she said are “calming and restorative for both the passengers and the volunteer pilots.”

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Cycling Without Age said that in Dublin, DLRCC has two trishaws, with part sponsorship from corporate Canada Life Reinsurance and operate from the Bike Hub, a social enterprise supported by the council.

The Bike Hub also have other inclusive bikes: two trikes for adults and for children, a handcycle and a tandem. The council also recently announced the use of a cargo bike which can take wheelchairs.

Clark said: “Many of our new passengers are service users from St John of God Services and Enable Ireland. The trishaws give them a real sense of inclusion, fun and enjoyment in the great outdoors. Since we started in DLRCC last July, our pilots have taken out over 260 trishaw rides.”

Of the other councils operating offer the trishaws for use, Cycling Without Age said that Fingal County Council has three, which serve the communities in St Catherine’s Park Lucan, at Skerries, and Baldoyle to Portmarnock; Dublin City Council has five, which will operate from the War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, and at Eamonn Ceannt Park in Crumlin; and Tipperary County Council has three, split between Cahir, Clonmel and Roscrea.

Cycling Without Age is also seeking what it calls volunteer pilots to help get people out on the cargo trikes.

Clark said: “Our volunteer pilots are the mainstay for CWA. They give of their time and energy to create fun experiences and share stories with their passengers. If you know of anyone interested in becoming a pilot on any of the trishaws, let me know or check out the map of Ireland on cyclingwithoutage.ie, and send an email to the contact person listed. Pilot training will be arranged by the trishaw operators.”

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