Cycling Without Age pilot Ward Strong (rear) takes Chartwell Carrington Place Retirement Residence dwellers Betty Howard (front, left) and D. Gans for a spin around the Schubert Centre to officially launch the Cycling Without Age program in Greater Vernon in 2019. A second bike has been added for the popular program, which will begin Year 2 on May 18. (Morning Star - file photo)

Greater Vernon senior cycling program wheels into second year

Special ‘trishaws’ saw 500 rides and 4,200 kilometres in debut year

As a doctor, Lauren Lypchuk has made people feel better from various illnesses and ailments.

But nothing has been more uplifting over the past quarter-century for the Vernon doctor and her husband, Ward Strong, than watching the success of the Cycling Without Age program the pair brought to the North Okanagan in 2019.

With the help of a specially built three-wheeled bicycle called a trishaw, which includes a front-passenger seat for two, Cycling Without Age is designed to give seniors free bike rides along such areas as the Okanagan Rail Trail, down to Okanagan Landing and through and around Polson Park.

“Everyone has the right to wind in their hair,” said Lypchuk, quoting the program’s motto. “The smiles on the peoples’ faces has been worth everything. This is one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever done.”

READ MORE: Cycling Without Age launches in Greater Vernon

With a grant from Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, Lypchuk and Strong were able to purchase a trishaw, then stored it at, and got insurance through, the late Jack Gareb at the Schubert Centre. New Schubert manager Shirley Higgins has picked up where Gareb left off and has offered continued support for the cycling program.

The duo trained more than 40 people to be “pilots,” the people who drive the bikes around the city.

“The first year was fantastic,” Lypchuk said. “We took 500 people on rides and put 4,200 kilometres on the bike. With Ward and a mechanic looking after, the bike is in great shape.

“Reaction to the program was great. We had plenty of smiles from the passengers, who waved whenever somebody honked a horn as they passed them on the bike.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Vernon ready to wheel out special cycling program

The couple is planning for Year 2, which includes adding a second bike, purchased with help from another CFNO grant (waiting on its arrival).

Rides will begin on May 18 and, with two bikes now available, more pilots will be needed. An informational meeting will be held in March and training will begin in April. More information can be received by sending an email to cyclingwithoutage.vernon.bc@gmail.com.

Lypchuk has added a couple of more seniors residences to her list, which is where those who would like free rides sign up. There’s also a sign-up sheet at the Schubert Centre for those wishing rides who live independently or with family.

If you would like to support the program financially (or support the Schubert Centre as it continues to try and raise funds for needed repairs), you can make a donation at the centre. Any donation of $25 or more is eligible for a tax receipt.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Seniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Technology brings joy of dance back to Salmon Arm centre during pandemic

A full range of dance classes to be held with students a very safe distance from each other

Woman raised in Salmon Arm on COVID-19 frontline with field hospital in Italy

Bev Kauffeldt is leading a medical team at the temporary hospital run by Samaritan’s Purse

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

COVID-19: Staying home in Salmon Arm is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes talk about how tough life is

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

North Okanagan district discourages campfires amid COVID-19

Campfire ban in effect for RDCO but not for neighbour district in the north

COVID-19: ‘Think before you click,’ north Okanagan city says

City of Armstrong urges residents stay safe online as phone, email scams on rise amid pandemic

Vernon Superstore sees long lineups amid COVID-19

Long lineups Saturday evidence customers following social-distancing protocols

Most Read