University of the Fraser Valley

Learn about UFV Trishaw Rides program at World Bicycle Day gathering

Learn about UFV Trishaw Rides program at World Bicycle Day gathering

Volunteer student pilot Nina Geerts with two passengers, enjoying the outdoors through the UFV Trishaw Rides program.

UFV celebrates World Bike Day on Monday, June 3 with a special event from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm on the Chilliwack campus. Staff and students from UFV’s Centre for Education and Research on Aging (CERA) will join the Yarrow chapter of Cycling with Age, along with community cyclists and walkers in a journey along the nearby Vedder Rotary Trail.

Monday’s event is a celebration of all things cycling, and it’s an opportunity for CERA to showcase its UFV Trishaw Rides program, which gives older adults with mobility challenges  an innovative opportunity to enjoy the outdoors from March through August. The program is based on the UFV Chilliwack campus and is free for users.

“It isn’t always easy to access the outdoors as people age, and many older adults have limited opportunities to engage with younger people,” says Dr. Shelley Canning, associate professor of nursing. “Our Trishaw program ticks both those boxes.”

Most Trishaw pilots are UFV students, and Canning says they are looking for more volunteers. She says it’s a wonderful way for youth to build intergenerational relationships with their passengers.

“Cycling Without Age started in Denmark and today chapters of CWA are found worldwide,” Canning notes. “What makes our program unique is the opportunity for meaningful intergenerational relationships. With most of our pilots being UFV students the generations come together to share in an innovative activity. The students often talk about their studies and future goals and the older passengers reflect, sharing insights on their past careers. The conversations flow as they ride along the trail.”

The trishaw bike is electric-assist and training is provided. Pilots also learn about working with older adults living with dementia in a workshop hosted by Canning.

Participants at Monday’s event are asked to meet on the green and bring a helmet, and they’ll have a chance to decorate their bike before heading out on the trail.

“We are celebrating World Bicycle Day as we enthusiastically support cycling for all,” says Alison Pritchard-Orr, associate professor in UFV’s School of Kinesiology. “Cycling is an enjoyable, sustainable way to transport you to where you need to go and enhance your health and spirits at the same time. We can create community by cycling or riding together. Come feel the wind in your hair with us!”