Cycling Without Age: New scheme launched in Chichester to combat social impact of Covid-19
Elderly Chichester residents, who have been stuck inside their homes during the pandemic, have been trialling a new trishaw bike ride across the city.
A trishaw is a specially built bicycle to allow two passengers to be slowly taken around the local area to enjoy the sights and ‘be part of the city bustle’ or ‘appreciate the beautiful local nature’.
A safe, accessible service, two passengers are taken by volunteer riders on routes around the town and parks, or up Centurion Way, for ‘some fresh air and a change of scenery’.
The brand new service, named ‘Cycling Without Age’, was launched in Chichester to help combat some of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a global movement, which started over 10 years ago in Denmark, and now operates in over 2,000 cities around the world.
Len and Enid Eyles, ex-Mayor and Mayoress of Chichester, who are both in their 90s, have helped trial the service.
“Absolutely fabulous,” said Len of the rides, encouraging others to give it a go.
He added: “I thoroughly enjoy the rides.”
The service is delivered by BrightRide, a new non-profit community organisation aimed at helping residents get out on bikes who otherwise wouldn’t be able, in order to benefit their mental and physical well-being.
BrightRide was established by local resident, Richard Turnbull, who was furloughed from his job in international education during lockdown.
In between home-schooling his two children, he was inspired by the service in Brighton and spent the time working out how it could be replicated in Chichester.
Richard said: “A number of studies have been done globally on how Cycling Without Age is of benefit both mentally and physically for the passengers, in particular when combating social isolation, loneliness and depression.
“There have also been studies on how it can help those suffering with dementia, as a way to reignite memories of the area and enjoy a multi-sensory experience.”
BrightRide secured funding through the Chichester City Council New Homes Bonus scheme.
Richard added: “ARides are also offered to other people who might benefit – perhaps affected by illness or disability.
“As a non-profit organisation, rides are offered on a ‘Pay What You Want’ basis. The guide price is £5 per person for a standard ride, usually lasting around an hour.
“All funds help BrightRide to continue operating and to grow to offer more services to other groups of people in future.
"BrightRide is currently looking to build relationships with local businesses who might like to sponsor this eye-catching service – a great way for businesses to help give back to the local community."
To book your ride, call 07423 153145 or visit www.brightride.org.uk.