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Cycling Without Age: Pilots

Wonderful volunteer pilots are trained to safely operate an e-assist trishaw to bring the joy of cycling to those who are not able to pedal on their own.

All pilots affiliated with the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s CWA programs are trained and complete a road skills test. Training includes rules of the road, trishaw handling skills, overview of the trishaw, best practices for maintenance, how to make each and every ride a complete joy, and sensitivity training to help recognize and communicate with people of all abilities.

Pilots do not need to be particularly strong as these trishaws are battery-powered with electric pedal assist. Simply start pedaling and the battery-powered motor gives a noticeable boost, making it easy to push the heavy trike up hills and go longer distances. The oldest pilot is 90 years old!

Who Can Pilot a Trishaw

Volunteer pilots are the engine that drive the CWA Program. Pilots must be safe cyclists, reliable, detail-oriented, and kind, while meeting these minimum requirements:

  • Age 18 and older
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Positive background check
  • Willingness to learn how to pedal an electric assist trishaw (you do not need to be an avid cyclist)
  • Physically  and mentally capable of pedaling a bicycle/trishaw in traffic
  • Able to multitask while safely navigating a trishaw
  • Enjoy working with people

Training

Pilot training is important so that the organization, passengers & families, and investors feel confident and proud to be part of a quality program. Training also gives pilots clear expectations to provide consistent experiences for passengers.

Classroom training

  • 1.5 hours
  • Rules of the road
  • Cycling skills
  • Passengers

On-Bike Training

  • 2 hours
  • Trishaw parts and pieces
  • Handling skills
  • Pedaling practice

Certification

  • Certification is available when Bike Fed training is completed and the on-bike test is successfully completed
  • Approximately 30-minute certification process showcasing trishaw knowledge
  • Successful pilots receive a certification card that can be possibly used across CWA chapters

Resources

Programs all around the state are developing and adapting very quickly. We will update our website regularly with a variety of examples and best practices for programs, such as: 

Library of forms and checklists

Map of Skilled Nursing Facilities

Trishaw information

Pilot Training/Test Checklist

Pilot Procedures (customizable template)

Pilot Policies and Agreement

Acknowledgement and Receipt of Pilot Handbook form.

Wisconsin Bike Fed Instructors

Trained instructors lead volunteer pilots through introduction, training, and certification. The program and training is led by Community Engagement and Cycling Without Age Program Manager, Michelle Bachaus. Michelle is happy to assist with questions and help coordinate all aspects of the Cycling Without Age program and training. You may contact her at michelleb@wisconsinbikefed.org.

Train the Trainer

The Bike Fed team exclusively trains certified volunteer pilots who meet specific criteria to be qualified to train others. Watch for “Train the Trainer” class announcements made through our website events calendar, and free weekly e-newsletter (you can sign up at the bottom of this webpage!).

Thanks for reviewing this information on “Pilots.” The next section provides a “Library of Forms” with resources and tools.