The Right to Feel the Wind in Your Hair - Living Adventurously 27

Theresa Robertshaw helps the elderly get back on bicycles by taking them for rides on an adapted electric tricycle. The mission of Cycling Without Age is to create happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.

Theresa Robertshaw helps the elderly get back on bicycles by taking them for rides on an adapted electric tricycle. The mission of Cycling Without Age is to create happiness among our fellow elderly citizens by providing them with an opportunity to remain an active part of society and the local community.
They do that by giving them the right to wind in their hair, the right to experience the city and nature close up from the bicycle and by giving them an opportunity to tell their story in the environment where they have lived their lives.
That way they build bridges between generations and reinforce trust, respect and the social glue in our society.
Cycling Without Age is based on generosity and kindness, slowness, storytelling and relationships. 
Theresa was my most reluctant interviewee, suggested to me by her daughter who😉 I suspect was due to face her mum's wrath after I thrust a microphone towards Theresa! I really enjoyed going for a ride with Theresa in the tricycle and found our conversation fascinating (not to mention homemade brownies and coffee that she brought along). I felt bad about making Theresa squirm, but I hope that it was worth it to bring you this interesting and thoughtful conversation... Sorry Theresa! 

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SHOW NOTES

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  • Cycling without age, Calderdale
  • Cycling without age, global site
  • Generosity: Cycling Without Age is based on generosity and kindness. It starts with the obvious generous act of taking one or two elderly or less-abled people out on a bike ride. It’s a simple act that everyone can do.
  • Slowness: Slowness allows you to sense the environment, be present in the moment and it allows people you meet along the way to be curious and gain knowledge about Cycling Without Age because you make time to stop and talk.
  • Storytelling: Elderly people have so many stories that will be forgotten if we don’t reach out and listen to them. We tell stories, we listen to stories on the bike and we also document the stories when we share them via word of mouth or on social media.
  • Relationships: Cycling Without Age is about creating a multitude of new relationships: between generations, among the elderly, between pilots and passengers, nursing homes employees and family members. Relationships build trust, happiness and quality of life.
  • Without Age: Life unfolds at all ages, young and old, and can be thrilling, fun, sad, beautiful and meaningful. Cycling Without Age is about letting people age in a positive context – fully aware of the opportunities that lie ahead when interacting in their local community.
  • A chance for people who are immobile or unable to get out, to feel the wind in their hair
  • Phyllis, 100, "it's the first time I've felt air!"
  • Recreating the joy of being on a bike
  • Some 90-year-old passengers have never been on a bike before - the chance to smell things, to see things close up
  • I hope they feel like it is an adventure. It's very rewarding for pilots and passengers.
  • Passengers with dementia live very much in the moment, commenting on the clouds. 
  • Children naturally live adventurously without really thinking about it. 
  • Getting the most out of everyday = her focus of living adventurously these days
  • Regret: When I was 22 I got a visa to Australia on the same day that I got offered a job. I didn't use the visa. 
  • Home is where I'm sleeping that night. It's also the family home. It's also where I'm from originally. 
  • I'd rather be called weird than a lady
  • I'm going to be 60 in December and it's great fun
  • You should always risk big changes and new challenges. 

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You can see my ride’s route on komoot here.

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© 2019 Alastair Humphreys