As this semester comes to a close, we at Ghisallo Cycling Initiative would like to thank all of the Golden Rollers participants, PARD staff, volunteers, and St. Davids Foundation for making our program possible. Over the past 10 weeks, more than 150 individuals have participated in the Golden Rollers program. Many of those individuals have been repeat riders, attending weekly classes at one of our several locations.
Expanding to Dittmar Recreation, Metz/Pan Am Recreation, Mcbeth Recreation, and Foundations M Station, we have been able to provide low-impact cycling for even more residents in the Austin area.
With the help of Mcbeth Recreation staff, we were able to expand our trike program to their Adults with Differing abilities group. At the center, the riders were able to improve their cycling skills by utilizing a new track built on the facility. For our final class, we took the participants to Zilker Park where they were able to ride through an obstacle course set up by PARD staff. After we returned to the center, we all enjoyed popsicles and Kind Bars!
A few weeks ago Ghisallo Cycling Initiative started a trike program at Mcbeth Recreation Center. This center provides social opportunities through quality programs, that challenge, support, and teach leisure skills for the citizens of Austin with differing abilities. During the program, PARD staff and Ghisallo employees assist the riders in navigating a course through the parking lot and on to the paved track behind the center.
Since starting the program a few weeks ago, the riders have shown great improvement in hand and leg mobility, breaking, ability, and mental agility. We look forward to challenging our riders with longer distances, obstacle courses, and off-campus rides in the future. For information about Mcbeth Recreation Center and the opportunities offered, please check out their website here.
The Golden Rollers have been biking around with us during our Spring program for the past six weeks. Within those six weeks, we have had over 150 new riders to the program. We have held over 50 classes between Gus Garcia Recreation, Metz Recreation, Dittmar Recreation, Mcbeth Recreation, Alamo & Givens Recreation, Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center, and Foundation Communities M Station. This has allowed our students (in total) to have participated over 400 times!
This week we began a program at Mcbeth Recreation Center, focusing on their Adults with Disabilities group. We set up a course in the parking lot for the riders, to test their braking ability, balance, and maneuverability.
The program at Foundation Communities M Station also began this week. We took staff and riders across Martin Luther King Blvd. to the Sustainable Food Center’s Community Garden. There, we were able to enjoy the flourishing plants and vegetables. We even got to munch on some mint growing in the community plot.
Classes began this week at Metz Recreation Center and Dittmar Recreation Center. Even though our new riders were a little skeptical of the three wheel recumbent trikes, their curiosity beat hesitation, and were willing to give them a roll. Very quickly they realized the trikes are not only safe, but user friendly and comfortable!
Seniors from Pan Am Recreation Center joined the Metz Recreation crew for orientation and the the first roll of the program. They took leisurely strolls around the gym before taking to the sidewalks and trails around the Recreation Center.
We are now in our third week of programming at Gus Garcia Recreation Center and Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. The excitement for riding is higher than ever, with more seniors returning each week to participate in the Golden Rollers program.
Our Golden Rollers program officially started at Gus Garcia Recreation Center and Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center this past week. We had more seniors than ever before signed up for our classes. As Gus Garcia, our new riders took a roll through the parking lot to get familiar with the trikes, before taking to the paved paths behind the center.
At Conley-Guerrero, both classes were incredibly ambitious and ready to roll. We headed down the Boggy Creek Trail towards Rosewood. The path provides lots of shade and breeze from the greenbelt, which was a nice treat with the increasing temperatures. From Rosewood, the crew headed over the railroad tracks another 1/2 mile before turning around and returning to the building.
Once the participants felt comfortable in their new head gear, we moved on to hand and leg strength. It’s very important that our seniors have the hand strength to stop the bike, as well as the leg strength to pedal the bike.
Once our participants were cleared to roll, we showed them the different features of the trikes and recumbents. Now, it’s time to roll out! Our riders took laps around the courtyard at Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center to get familiar with controlling the bikes.
Later in the week Ghisallo attended St. Patricks Day Casino at Metz Recreation Center. There were 150 seniors in attendance from all over central Texas. We brought one of our recumbent bikes to the party so the seniors could check out all the features of our most popular ride.
With the long days of winter finally behind us, we can spring forward into days of sunshine and fun. Here at Ghisallo, we have been working really hard on expanding our Golden Rollers program. Because of our grant from St. David’s Foundation, we are able to give more Recreation centers throughout Austin the opportunity to get their seniors rolling!
Coming soon to a Recreation center near you will be 5 brand new Ghisallo Bicycle Base Stations. These will house Terra Trikes, helmets, pumps, and tools that will be used to aid participants of the program. Also included inside the base station will be a micro bike shop, which will be used during community events to give a little TLC to bikes that need maintenance.
Orientation starts the week of the 11th. Check out the schedule here for updated information on our program sites. We can’t wait to get rolling with you!
At $246,116, it is an incredible opportunity for our clients and organization to launch these programs at new sites across Central Texas as well as be able to provide specialized equipment for clients with additional physical and cognitive challenges.
We want to thank all of our participants, staff, supporters, partners, and of course A Glimmer of Hope Austin who was an angel “investor” in helping us get the fully formed program off the ground to prove the model and demonstrate the demand. 2019 is going to be an exciting year!
We’ve had a most welcomed new addition to our weekly rides at Conley-Guerrero: a portable music speaker. For over a month now, he’s been consistently cranking out quality 50’s and 60’s tunes that get the rollers grooving on and off the trikes. Enjoy these videos of us boogying down the road and cutting loose at a rest stop: