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Cycling Without Age: Getting Started

The bicycle is making life better again, thanks to trishaws piloted by chatty volunteers who help take residents from nursing homes and senior centers for rides on trails and out in the community they love. 

The Cycling Without Age (CWA) program brings smiles to the passengers, their family members, and the volunteers who pilot trishaws. Even passers-by seem to share in the sense of happiness when they see the trishaws pedaling people through the community with the sunshine on their faces and wind in their hair.

What is Cycling Without Age?

Cycling Without Age is an international program that brings people of all ages and abilities together by connecting volunteer pilots and elderly passengers for an outdoor adventure by trishaw, a trike with two wheels and a seat in the front pedaled by a volunteer in the back. The program, started in 2012 in Copenhagen by Ole Kassow, proves how a simple bicycle ride can reduce feelings of loneliness and help reconnect people with their communities and boost the well-being of all involved.

How Can the Bike Fed Help?

The Bike Fed has been helping to establish and enhance CWA programs across the state since 2012. Interested organizations can look to the Bike Fed website for guidance, forms, and other resources needed to start a new CWA program. Our experienced staff can guide those who are interested from concept to kick-off. Our program includes help with community outreach, program planning, fundraising, trishaw purchase, pilot training, ride schedules, community kick-off events, and even preventative and regular trike maintenance.

Special note to Wisconsin Skilled Nursing Facilities

Some items below are covered by a Wisconsin Bike Fed Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP) Grant for 2022-2024. To learn if your organization qualifies, please contact CWA Manager Michelle Bachaus at

Step 1: Build a Team

To create a successful program, identify leaders, champions, advocates, and volunteers to get started. Expand the team as needed to achieve your goals.

Get Guidance on Building Your Team Here

Step 2: Budget & Fundraising

Trishaws cost $7,400 – $11,000 plus shipping from Copenhagen and can be ordered at local bike shops in Wisconsin or online at the website with delivery anywhere from two weeks to nine months. We recommend establishing a fund to collect donations, then hosting an event to introduce the concept in your community. Grants are available to skilled nursing facilities through CMP reinvestment funds.

Take a Closer Look at the Budgeting & Fundraising Process Here

Step 3: Insurance & Liability

Trishaw rides are typically considered like every other program at many community organizations, and are part of their general program insurance. The Bike Fed recommends using waivers for both passengers and pilots. We have templates for those waivers that can be adapted to different organizations. Some volunteer recruiting organizations also offer additional insurance coverage for volunteers. Bike Fed staff can help with all of this.

Get Details About Insurance & Liability Requirements Here

Step 4: Introduction to the Community & Kick-Off Events

To help generate community interest and support, the Bike Fed can bring a trishaw and trained pilot for demonstration rides at a hosted event for local media, people interested in volunteering as pilots, local officials, as well as potential passengers and their families. We are also happy to participate in your kickoff event to celebrate your new program.

Introduce CWA to Your Community & Plan Your Kick-Off Event Here