FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Cycling Without Age and the CMP program

 

CMP program

Where can I get more information?

After you sign up, we provide you with more detailed information about how the CMP program works, and if you’d like we can hook you up with a care home that is already a member of CWA and has loads of experience. It’s our buddy system, and we hope you’ll like it.

In addition, this TEDx talk by Ole Kassow, the founder of Cycling Without Age, is a great way to inspire others. You can view some other videos on the home page of our International website. We also have this large flickr database of photos from CWA affiliates all over the world.

And of course you can always email Pernille at bussone@cyclingwithoutage.org

What’s next and how much will this cost?

The CMP grants are designed to help eligible care homes pay for approximately half the cost of a trishaw and related accessories and training. There are a number of ways to go about raising the other half of the costs, and CWA can help you put together information and presentations designed to attract donor funds, whether from local supporters in your community, grant opportunities, or residents and family members of your nursing home.

The total delivered cost of a trishaw depends on the model you select. and looking into ways of raising funds. Depending on the model you select, that will be between approximately $8100.00 to $10,650.00 — with CMP paying for one-half of that.

The approved trishaws available via the CMP program are sold by Copenhagen Cycles, a privately-owned company that donates all of its net profits to support both Cycling Without Age International and Cycling Without Age US. You can learn more about those trishaws at the Copenhagen Cycles website.

How do I sign up?

Sign up here: https://cyclingwithoutage.com/cmp/ and we’ll get right back to you.

How do I receive the CMP grant?

CWA has secured funding for half the cost of each trishaw you purchase, including shipping, if you’re a federally funded nursing home in Wisconsin or Minnesota. The program works a bit differently in each state. 

Wisconsin

Once you secure commitments for your half of the cost of the trishaw you want, place the order by contacting Pernille at bussone@cyclingwithoutage.org, or via the Copenhagen Cycles website, and CWA will take it from there. You will be invoiced for one-half of the delivered cost of your trishaw and accessories, and CWA will be invoiced for the other half. 

Minnesota

The Minnesota CMP program requires each nursing facility to respond to a RFP issued by the Department of Human Services, which will award the funds directly to the nursing home.  You can then use those funds to help pay for your trishaw and related training and other services from Cycling Without Age.

You can access both the RFP and the CWA CMP Application Form at the Minnesota DHS Nursing Home Provider Portal.

 

The trishaws bikes

Where are the trishaws made?

The trishaws are made in Denmark and the Netherlands, depending on the manufacturer. They are all manufactured in accordance with EU standards, and have been designed, with the help of CWA, specifically for the purpose of carrying passengers who may have mobility issues. You can learn more about the approved trishaw models at the Copenhagen Cycles website

Copenhagen Cycles is a privately-owned company that donates all of its net profits to Cycling Without Age International and Cycling Without Age in the US.

How does the electric assist work?

The trishaws each have an electric-assist option that the pilot is trained to use. The system uses a “Pedal Assist Sensor” that applies power only as you pedal (assuming the pilot chooses to use the pedal assist mode). The power assist level can be varied from no assist through several levels of assist (depending on the model), through a controller on the handlebars. Power assist is cut when you stop pedaling or when your speed reaches 15 miles per hour.

 

How far can I ride the trishaw?

In terms of battery life, there are a number of factors (speed, weight, incline, the assist level) that will dictate how long the battery will last, but it’s not unusual for the battery to be helpful for approximately 20 miles. Keep in mind that all of the trishaws can still be pedaled without the help of the battery, just like a non-powered bike, through muscle power alone. Many of our pilots only use the battery for starting and for hills. A fully-charged battery can be used in many cases for hours, so always keep in mind that some passengers may tire more quickly than others. Make sure to ask them frequently how they are doing.

How is a trishaw different from a two wheeled bike?

Confident cyclists will quite quickly get used to riding the trishaw. After training you can safely ride it with passengers and after lots of rides you will build more confidence and if you continue, become an expert. To begin with try shorter rides, until you feel more secure. Always check with your passengers to see if they are comfortable and wish to continue. The biggest differences compared to a regular bicycle are the battery and the steering, which we will cover in the training.

We also emphasize slowness – riding slowly helps us converse with our passengers, and gives both passengers and pilot a chance to appreciate the surrounding scenery, engage with passers-by, and is the safest way to enjoy the feel of the wind in your hair.

How much weight can the trishaw carry?

Two passengers together or one alone can weigh up to about 330 lbs.; this is excluding the pilot.

What model should we choose?

Of course that’s up to you, but here is some information about the various models:

The Van Raam “Chat” is a new model developed over an 18-month period by Van Raam, a company that has been designing and manufacturing quality adaptive cycles in the Netherlands since 1974. The Chat features a 1-meter wide cushioned seat, with a front footrest that lowers completely to the ground, activated by the pilot from behind the passenger box. The passenger box rests on a spring suspension, which absorbs some of the road bumps and makes the ride for the passengers more comfortable. The Chat, uniquely among the trishaws we offer, has a ‘reverse gear’ – you pedal backwards, and the Chat backs up!

The Nihola is a front-loading trishaw, like the Trio. The main operating difference is that when you turn the Nihola, the front wheels turn but the passenger box stays in place; with the Trio, the entire box turns along with the front wheels. The front passenger box of the Nihola is also two inches narrower than the Trio’s. The design is a bit different in a few other ways, and as a result the Nihola is somewhat less expensive than the Trio. It is available in a 250 watt and a 500 watt model.

There’s also a Christiania trishaw available, it’s the perfect mix between the two models described above. The Christiania features a lowerable front footrest, and was the original model used by Ole Kassow when he first conceived of the Cycling Without Age concept.

Reach out to pernille@cyclingwithoutage.org for more information about the different models and check out the information on the Copenhagen Cycles website.

Are the trishaws difficult to maintain?

We find that most everyday maintenance — checking tire pressure, making sure the brakes and shifters are working, that sort of thing — is very easy to do. We’ll help you find a local bike mechanic who can do the rest. Many good bike shops are eager to become affiliated with CWA, especially because the trishaws are so visible in the community. A public “thank you” every now and then to your local bike shop is good for their business — and for your trishaw!

Are the trishaws safe?

Yes, when properly operated! One of our guiding principles is “Slowness” – this is not only for safety reasons, but also because it enhances the experience for passengers, pilots, and the community. With hundreds of affiliates in more than 40 countries, we have a ton of experience giving our passengers the right to feel the wind in their hair — safely!

Will there be a chance to try out a trishaw before we buy one?

From time to time, we conduct “road shows” where you can get some training and have a chance to take a trishaw for a spin. These events will also be good opportunities to introduce potential donors to the program. Once you’ve experienced a ride in a trishaw it’s very easy to see how an active Cycling Without Age program can improve the quality of life for your residents. Please contact Pernille: bussone@cyclingwithoutage.org, if you would like to participate in one; we will let you know as soon as we finalize our next round in your area.

To reach out to fellow care homes in the state who are either fundraising to get a trishaw or already have one, please check out this map: CWA map of Wisconsin

For Minnesota care homes, please see our general map at our US website, or contact Pernille and she’ll put you in touch with a local chapter.

What types of trishaws are available and how much do they cost?

There are four manufacturers currently supplying approved trishaws for Cycling Without Age. You can see them on the Copenhagen Cycles website.

Copenhagen Cycles is a privately-owned company that donates all of its net profits to Cycling Without Age to support its operations internationally and in the US.

 

The pilot

Who can pilot the trishaw?

While any responsible, reasonably fit person who has been trained can pilot the trishaw, we often find that with our chapters in the US insurance requirements dictate the minimum pilot age, which tends to be either 18 or 21 depending on the insurer.

What about pilot training?

Cycling Without Age will be providing training as the programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin move forward. We also have a comprehensive set of videos that provide a good tutorial for new pilots. 

The single best way to pilot safely is to honor one of our guiding principles: Slowness. Riding slowly allows so many good things to happen between the passengers and the pilot, and between the passengers and the community! It’s an added benefit that riding slowly is the safest way to pilot.

 

Legal and insurance

Will our insurance cover a CWA program?

In some cases it will; other times you may need to add a rider to your existing policy or secure a separate policy. We can work with your insurance administrator to help make sure you’re covered.

 

Fundraising

Who’s paying for this?

Cycling Without Age is not for profit organisation that generates its revenue through a royalty from sales of trishaws through Copenhagen Cycles.

I own a business and I would like to help out, what do you need?

We are very open to any kind of partnerships that benefit the elderly community. One way is to sponsor a trishaw and have your logo on it. It is a great way to show your care to the community. Second is that you can also let your employees be trained as pilots and let them ride during working hours. Besides this, for example, if you own a café you could invite our pilots and passengers for a free coffee when they are on their rides.

It still seems like a lot of money – how can we raise the funds?

There are a number of strategies that have worked for our existing affiliates. Very often local community groups such as the Rotary Club or neighborhood businesses will provide much of the funding. (You can put the name of the donors on your trishaw as a way of saying ‘thank you’!) Sometimes families of residents will contribute as a way of honoring their loved ones. Contact us and tell us a bit about your nursing home and your community and we can help you come up with some great fundraising ideas.

What does a trishaw cost including freight from Europe?

The full cost of a trishaw delivered to Minnesota or Wisconsin ranges from $8100.00 to $10,650.00 depending on the model you select. The CMP funding will pay for roughly half of that.

 

 

The rides

People are staring at me when I ride the trishaw, what is going on?

Sometimes our faces hurt from smiling so much and we often stop to chat with curious people who want to know more. This is one of the best parts of Cycling Without Age, the pilot and passenger get to interact with members of their community. This kind of spontaneous interaction happens all the time and can become addictive!

How far can I ride the trishaw?

In terms of battery life, there are a number of factors (speed, weight, incline, the assist level) that will dictate how long the battery will last, but it’s not unusual for the battery to be helpful for approximately 20 miles. Keep in mind that all of the trishaws can still be pedaled without the help of the battery, just like a non-powered bike, through muscle power alone. Many of our pilots only use the battery for starting and for hills. A fully-charged battery can be used in many cases for hours, so always keep in mind that some passengers may tire more quickly than others. Make sure to ask them frequently how they are doing.

What if it rains?

The trishaw has a portable rain cover as well as an optional waterproof blanket for the passengers. Rain showers are great opportunities to sit covered, have a nice chat, and stimulate the senses. Some nursing home residents haven’t been caught in the rain in a long time, and actually enjoy the experience!

What is a typical ride like?

One of the wonderful things about CWA is that there is no typical ride. Each one is different, depending on the passengers, the pilots, the route, the weather, and the community. But you can expect to see your passengers enjoying themselves, telling stories about their lives and their community, and being the center of attention as people along the way smile, wave, and call you over to stop for a chat. Sitting up front in one of our CWA trishaws puts the passengers first, which for many of them is something they haven’t experienced in quite some time.