You can read about the launch of this program at the Conley-Gurrero Senior Activity Center (808 Nile Street – 512-978-2660) in the original announcement post below.
We had an overwhelming response at the program launch with 47 seniors signing up to ride the five trikes. The first session consisted of seven classes: four orientations and three trail rides. Riders first needed to participate in and pass an orientation class to ensure they had sufficient hand strength to stop the trikes as well as the leg strength and balance to ride in a safe and controlled manner. 31 of 38 participants passed the orientation sessions.
These classes consisted of 30 minutes of classroom-based instruction and then 30 minutes riding in a parking lot to develop starting, stopping, turning, and obstacle-avoidance skills. Only 15 graduates were able to participate in the first three trail rides as participation is limited based on the small number of trikes available. All six classes in Session 2, which runs in November and December, will be ride-based so that all of the graduates will have a chance to ride the Boggy Creek Trail or the Pedernales All Ages and Abilities Bikeway.
Our oldest rider is 89 and our youngest is in her 50s. The vast majority (something like 90%) of the riders are women, and we have had at least four or five people who had never ridden a bike before in their life – not even as kids. Many of our riders hadn’t ridden since they were teenagers or even younger.
It has been inspiring to witness so many of our active seniors finding joy in rediscovering (or experiencing for the first time) the freedom a bike or trike can bring, tackling and mastering a new skill, overcoming the fear of trying to do something they thought they had lost the ability (or were told they were too old) to do, and taking pride in their accomplishment.
And a big shout out to Gladys Runnels and the Parks and Rec crew at Conley-Guerrero, Mercedes, Preston, Becky of Bike Austin, and Camille of Black Girls Do Bike who are helping make this program an ongoing success!
Photos from some of the orientation classes:
Photos from some of the rides: