If you’ve ever ridden a bike and enjoyed it, you know how delicious it is to feel the wind in your hair. The volunteer organization Cycling Without Age, its founder Ole Kassow says in this incredibly moving TEDx Talk, is all about feeling the wind in your hair – even if you’re not the one pushing the pedals.
Kassow was inspired to start offering nursing home residents in Copenhagen rides on a rented bicycle rickshaw after realized that most seniors used to ride bikes around town until they became too old to manage. Now cooped up indoors, many might appreciate being out and about in the open air again, he thought.
He was right – it was a transformational experience for people living in nursing homes – and for him.
“It gave them a whole new mobility and it gave me an insight into my city that I’d never experienced. And I made lots of unlikely friends. I felt like an explorer in uncharted territory.”
The experience gave the seniors a chance to recollect, and the cyclists a chance to hear stories from decades earlier, and it bonded the generations.
Soon, more nursing homes and volunteers signed up for rides, and Cycling Without Age spread to other cities in Denmark – and abroad.
“We heard back that people who hadn’t talked for years had started talking again. People suffering from dementia would lose their aggressions and actually lift the spirit at the nursing home.” For blind residents, the rides were about smelling the flowers, and hearing the birds and feeling the wind in your hair.
“We’re here to fight for people’s wind in their hair,” Kassow says.
Visit Cycling Without Age