Senior citizens and disabled individuals might soon be receiving fun cycling rides around the Johnstown region thanks to the efforts of You in Flood City.
The nonprofit recently established a local chapter of Cycling Without Age, an organization founded in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark, that provides transportation for those who cannot pedal for themselves. Cyclists provide the rides in trishaws – lightweight, three-wheeled vehicles with passenger seats.
“It’s just a chance to get people back onto bikes and feel like a kid again, which is a really cute project itself,” said Tasha Adams, director of You in Flood City, an organization that promotes activities in the city.
Adams hopes to have the service up and running by early next year. Before then, though, You in Flood City needs to raise money to purchase a first trishaw that costs about $10,000. The organization plans to set up a table where people can get information and make donations at the Johnstown Farmers’ Market in Central Park downtown from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday.
Five businesses have also joined the fundraising effort.
• SaverLife will contribute $5 from every Johnstown resident who creates a new account, up to a total of $10,000.
• Perfectly Imperfect Pizza will donate $1 from every sale in July.
• Balance Restaurant will chip in $1 from every charity mocktail sold in July.
• VIBE Fitness Studio will donate proceeds from an upcoming cycling class.
• Photographs with Riss will hold a pop-up, pay-what-you-can photo event from 2:30 to 6 p.m. July 25 at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens.
“I figured if I pitch in and I can get whatever I can out of it, at least something’s better than nothing. … I love my city,” said Karissa Grossman, owner of Photographs with Riss. “It’s my city. I grew up there. I went to Johnstown. I’m a 2011 grad from Johnstown, so helping my community is what I need to do.”
The Johnstown group is one of more than 2,500 CWA chapters throughout 51 countries.
“It’s the absolute best when a new chapter is formed,” Pernille Bussone, Cycling Without Age’s global community captain, said in an email interview. “All the people who reach out to us in Copenhagen, and to other chapters around the world, are the heart and blood of Cycling Without Age.
“Our community is inclusive to all, and the variety of people joining and dedicating their time and energy are what keeps this movement alive. Cycling Without Age is built as a holacracy, which is a decentralized structure, and all chapters are invited to support each other – for instance, by sharing information about trishaws and how they operate, or sharing applications they’ve been successful with, or by lending their time and expertise to help other chapters off the ground.
“When you join Cycling Without Age, you’re incorporated into our group, and everybody is friendly and wants to help. It’s a little addictive, and you meet the best people the world has to offer.
“Cycling Without Age organizes yearly summits where we invite all affiliates to join, and they are the craziest events you can imagine, friendships formed for life and lots of great people you can visit from all over the world. We are so thrilled to have Johnstown join Cycling Without Age. Thank you so, Tasha and the rest of the team.”