All Ages, All Abilities, All Welcome!
In June of 2014 the portion of the Pedernales protected bicycle lane on Webberville Road adjacent to the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center was completed. This new bikeway, in addition to the Boggy Creek Trail which runs behind the center through a greenbelt, prompted Ghisallo founder Christopher Stanton to approach the center’s Recreation Programs Supervisor, Gladys Runnels, about initiating a cycling program for seniors. It was a perfect fit, as the site is ideally located to provide an accessible avenue for senior recreation and transportation to other places in the neighborhood like the Doris Miller Auditorium or the neighborhood HEB via all-ages on-road facilities and urban trails.
Stanton used donations from Chameleon Cold Brew and East Side Pedal Pushers and participants in Ghisallo’s Earn-a-Bike program at Boys and Girls Club of East Austin to build eight adult trikes. These cycles, combined with the limited change in elevation in the areas around the center, provide a safe, low-impact means of exercise and exploration for individuals ranging from those with mobility and developmental disabilities to those who haven’t ridden a bike in decades – if ever.
The Golden Rollers program launched in September 2015 with 47 seniors from the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center signing up to participate. The first session consisted of four classroom orientations, in which 31 of 38 participants were cleared for trail rides by passing tests of hand strength for braking purposes, leg strength for pedaling purposes, and general balance. 15 of those (this number is limited because of the number of trikes available) went on to participate in trail rides through the Boggy Creek Greenbelt led by instructors from Ghisallo and Bike Austin. The Golden Rollers program has grown to over 100 members who range in age from 50 to 94 and are predominantly female (75%+).
Golden Rollers Staff
Ghisallo Cycling Initiative
Instructor / Program Manager
Matt Dietrichson – Conley-Guerrero
Austin McDaniel – Dove Springs
Armando “Blue” Delgado – Gus Garcia
Gerard Washington – Gus Garcia
Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center
Dove Springs Rec Center
Gus Garcia Rec Center