New program gets seniors cycling (and smiling)

[Riders at a recent session at
Willamette Park]
Photo credit: Kirsty Hall

In their ongoing effort to reach out to new cyclists, PDOT has started a program aimed at getting seniors aged 60 and over riding again.

Officially named the Older Adult Three-Wheeled Bicycle Program, the program is already proving to be a big success.

According to PDOT literature, in Holland and Germany people over seventy-five years of age make around half of all their trips by bike or foot, compared with only six percent of Americans sixty-five and older.

In order to make cycling safer and more accessible to seniors they have purchased a fleet of three-wheeled trikes and are offering free, twice-a-week sessions at Willamette Park in Southwest Portland.

Program Coordinator Kirsty Hall is very pleased with the outcome of the program so far,

“The rides have been going smashingly so far. It’s been great to see how inspiring riding a bicycle can be too. Several of the seniors I’ve taught to ride have expressed a strong desire to purchase their own three-wheeled bicycle to use around their neighbourhood to run errands such as picking up their prescriptions, or shopping for groceries nearby.

[Photo: Kirsty Hall]

Also, according to Kirsty some local senior centers and farmers’ markets have shown interest in having the bicycles available at their locations for seniors to use.

Here’s what Kirsty said about some of the participants,

“Yesterday, one man with emphysema was so excited at riding a bicycle again, he managed to ride the length of the Willamette Greenway not once, but twice! And seeing how excited an 81 year old lady who hadn’t ridden a bicycle in over 60 years became once she hopped onto one of our trikes was wonderful for me.”

But beyond just having fun on bikes, PDOT is partnering with an OHSU researcher who is looking into how seniors might retain function as they age, and how cycling could play a part in that. They’re also using feedback from the program to develop a new senior section of the soon-to-be updated Portland Bicycle Master Plan.

Other partners in this effort are the BTA, Elders in Action and the Portland Parks and Recreation Department.

To learn more about this program, check out this short movie made by BikeTV‘s Clarence Eckerson. He just happened to be in town recently and was able to put together this great footage.

[Screenshot from Clarence
Eckerson’s film]

For more details or to learn more about the Older Adult Three-Wheeled Bicycle Program, please contact Kirsty Hall by phone at 503-823-7854 or by email at kirsty.hall [at] trans.ci.portland.or.us.

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Cate
Cate
16 years ago

This looks like a great program. There’s a man who looks like he’s in his 80’s who I’ve seen riding around Sellwood on his three-wheeled bike. He shops for groceries at the Sellwood New Seasons and puts them in the big basket on the back. Bravo.

joy
joy
16 years ago

This is way cool!

No Pets
No Pets
16 years ago

It’s a great idea! Old people in cars=risk to society If they are on a bike they are far less likely to kill someone if they crash into ’em.

Scout
16 years ago

This is so cool. Now I want to get myself one of those trikes for trips to the store!

Brad W
Brad W
16 years ago

My 80+ year old grandmother has always wanted a bike. Those would be perfect! Any info on who the maker is? I can’t tell from the photos or the movie.

anonymous
anonymous
16 years ago

your grandma should check out Craigslist
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/212190168.html

Cate
Cate
16 years ago

http://bikeportland.org/2006/07/05/new-shop-coming-to-north-portland/

Jonathan, has this shop for elderly bicyclists opened yet? It might be a good source for three-wheeled bikes.

janis mcdonald
16 years ago

Kirsty! Awesome job. Cheers!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

Cate,
Yes the shop has opened up. I haven’t been over there yet (on my list) but I noticed some folks discussing it on the Portland Bike Forums.

I hope to get over there and check it out for myself soon.

tom
tom
16 years ago

Can I ask? Single? Kirsty is hot. I tried to pay attention to her during the video but her looks were too distracting. I’m a Catrike guy, myself …so we have trikes in common.

Great program for seniors.

Donna
Donna
16 years ago

I was at the North Portland store on Saturday. No trikes, but I also didn’t ask if they could order.

KHS makes a reasonably priced trike. I imagine any dealer could order one.

Andrew
16 years ago

Those bikes look like the EZ-3. Awesome bikes. They are in stock at Coventry Cycles at SE 20th and Hawthorne. My wife has one and digs it a lot.

Mik
Mik
15 years ago

I wish bikeportland.org would cover more recumbent stuff. This is a pretty snazzy program though. I think they’re ez-3s. There are way cooler trikes(the t-rice is super cool!)

Ben
Ben
11 years ago