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Lumby seniors given gift of mobility as trishaw rides launch

Seniors can now sign up for a trishaw ride in which a volunteer pedals them around the community
The Whitevalley Community Resource Centre has launched a trishaw program in which volunteer pilots take seniors for a ride around town on a three-wheeled bicycle. The program kicked off in August 2023. (Jerry Mason photo)

Seniors in Lumby have a fun new way to take in the sights and sounds of their community.

The Whitevalley Community Resource Centre was recently given a trishaw by United Way BC. A trishaw is a three-wheeled bicycle with a pilot pedaling from behind and a seat up front for passengers to take in views of the community.

Earlier this month, the centre launched its trishaw program in which volunteer pilots take up to two seniors at a time for a spin around town.

It’s ideal for seniors with mobility issues who get some social interaction while also getting to explore Lumby.

“We had a gentleman who has lived here for 66 years and has never been on the Salmon Trail, and yesterday (Aug. 29) he got to experience it for the first time,” Christine Lishman, executive director of the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre, told The Morning Star.

Lishman says rides are typically an hour long, and the senior and the pilot decide on the route together.

She says riders tell stories or converse with their pilot along the way.

“Socialization is so important, ” Lishman said.

The trishaw is pedal-assisted, making it easy for pilots to get moving and removing a barrier for people who want to pilot. The resource centre created a manual for pilots and passengers “so that everybody is safe,” and also made sure they had proper insurance and a training day with the volunteers.

“These seniors that just don’t have the mobility to get out and enjoy the pathways and the outdoor spaces that others who have that mobility can, it just gives them that opportunity.”

And plenty of people have been eager to sign up as a volunteer pilot.

“The amount of volunteers that have come through our doors wanting to be involved is heartwarming,” she said. “It increases every day.”

Asked what the feedback from passengers has been since the program began, Lishman recalled an 88-year-old woman who recently went out for a ride.

“She wasn’t even off the trishaw and she was signing up for another ride,” she said. “They are so excited to get out and it’s been nothing but positive feedback.”

Members of the community have also donated time to make the program better; some ladies knitted some lap blankets to make the trishaw more comfortable.

The meeting place for the trishaw rides is the Lumby Museum, a shaded area with a bench to sit on that is highly accessible.

The program runs Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To sign up for a ride, call the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre at 250-547-8866.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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