Danish Cycling Without Age group visits Canberra nursing homes
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Danish Cycling Without Age group visits Canberra nursing homes

When 99-year-old Beryl Hunter was a little girl, she would watch people ride bikes in her neighbourhood. Her family could not afford to buy one, let alone a car.

It wasn't until she got married at 25 that she learnt how to ride.

Adrienne Capp, 80 and Beryl Hunter, 99, piloted by Caroline Fargher of Pedal Power.

Adrienne Capp, 80 and Beryl Hunter, 99, piloted by Caroline Fargher of Pedal Power.

Photo: Karleen Minney

"The first ride I did, my husband taught me how to ride in the morning and then we rode Phillip Island in Victoria," Mrs Hunter said.

"When I did ride a bike, I was able to have one with one seat on front, one on the back and had two children that I used to ride around and do all my shopping and everything else.

They joined local Pedal Power ACT pilots in bringing smiles to participants from Canberra nursing homes.

They joined local Pedal Power ACT pilots in bringing smiles to participants from Canberra nursing homes.

Photo: Karleen Minney
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"We used bikes as our main means of transport."

Mrs Hunter, who will be turning 100 in January and is the oldest resident at Araluen Retirement Village, has not been on a bike for decades.

"It's been a long, long time, there have been many developments in transport from the days we rode cable trams and steam trains and everything."

She was the special guest at the Danish Ambassador's morning tea on Wednesday, as he welcomed six young Danes who decided to pedal trishaws from Newcastle to Tasmania, via Canberra on their gap year instead of a traditional experience.

Danish Ambassador Tom Nørring with Danish boys Frederik Pedersen, Christian Hvid, Mathias Hansen, Marcus Frellsen, Rasmus Bosack and Kenneth McDonald Kelly decided to do something different in their gap year.

Danish Ambassador Tom Nørring with Danish boys Frederik Pedersen, Christian Hvid, Mathias Hansen, Marcus Frellsen, Rasmus Bosack and Kenneth McDonald Kelly decided to do something different in their gap year.

Photo: Karleen Minney

The group wanted to spread the word about Cycling Without Age, a movement that started in Denmark and helps older people get out and about.

Cyclist Kenneth McDonald Kelly said the group wanted to travel in a different way than just a normal holiday.

Cycling Without Age, is a movement that started in Denmark and helps older people get out and about.

Cycling Without Age, is a movement that started in Denmark and helps older people get out and about.

Photo: Karleen Minney

"A friend suggested that we should do this project with Cycling Without Age where we do a travel with a purpose," the 20-year-old said.

"It's been a huge experience because you see a different side of a country you go to, you see a different side of people and different local communities and you meet with people who have had a whole life - they're old and they've experienced way more than we have ever.

Married couple Mark and Coral Tully who hadn't ridden bikes together for years.

Married couple Mark and Coral Tully who hadn't ridden bikes together for years.

Photo: Karleen Minney

"They have some amazing stories."

They joined Pedal Power ACT pilots in bringing smiles to participants from Canberra nursing homes, including married couple Mark and Coral Tully who hadn't ridden bikes together for years.

"We had a case in Mudgee where the women hadn't been out of the nursing home for three weeks and we thought, what a great thing to be able to give them a nice day with some sun and fresh wind in their hair," Mr McDonald Kelly said.

"We feel really proud."

Their journey started earlier this month in Newcastle and headed to Mudgee before stopping in Canberra en route to Tasmania.

Danish Ambassador Tom Nørring said he was impressed with the effort of the six young men were going to in order to promote Cycling Without Age in Australia.

"The essence of Cycling Without Age is to make a connection," he said. "I know many of the volunteers appreciate the chats they can have with residents as they ride on these trioBikes through Canberra."

Mrs Hunter said she was thankful to be given the opportunity.

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"It's lovely, we can sit back and relax, enjoy the scenery and you can see a lot more as a passenger - it's quite an event."

Pedal Power ACT runs the Cycling Without Age program with volunteers sourced from their members and students from the University of Canberra to recruit and train pilots for the trishaw bikes.

Han Nguyen

Han Nguyen reports on property for The Canberra Times. She joined the Times in 2017 after working as a breaking news reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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