Tuesday , 27 October 2020
Two Pioneer Lodge residents going for a ride in the trishaw with a volunteer driver. (Lloyd Connect)

Connects helps residents get around on three wheels

Those with troubles getting around the city have the option to get a lift from a chaperone.

Border City Connects presented their new specialized equipment on Tuesday at the Pioneer Lodge.

The trishaw is an electric powered, three-wheeled form of transportation that is similar to riding a bike.

The driver can use it to shuttle around passengers in the front seating area

Two Pioneer Lodge residents going for a demonstration ride on Tuesday afternoon. (Lloyd Connect)

“The whole idea is to have people that are volunteers called pilots and they take individuals for rides on our trishaws. It helps people that are usually in care homes dealing with loneliness and isolation so that’s the whole idea behind it,” said Border City Connects Director, Glenn Fagnan.

Volunteers go through training to learn how to use the motorized carrier and then sign up to drive people around in the evenings.

“It’s pretty interesting talking with the pilots and some of them have got stories where you’ve got a 90 year old lady that’s saying , ‘Faster! Faster!’,” said Fagnan.

Fagnan stated they received positive feedback from residents who were able to join in on the test drives.

Connects is looking to bring in multiple trishaws for the community based on the demand they have noticed.

“I just spoke with a lady here that she was driven out to Bud Miller Park and she says that she’s seen a lot of Bud Miller Park in the front before but had never gone in the back and she was jus thrilled.”

Connects made the purchase for their Border City Cycle for All initiative with money received from grants.

The two grants came from the Saskatchewan Real Estate Association for $5,000 and the other from the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation (LRHF) of over $11,000.

“We truly appreciate Malcolm and the Health foundation board and all their staff for what they’ve done,” said Fagnan.

Fagnan stated he did not know about the trishaw until he came across it while surfing the web one day.

The trishaw outside of Pioneer Lodge. (Lloyd Connect)

“I kind of stumbled upon it. I was looking for specialized equipment and ran across this Cycling Without Age and saw the trishaw and did a little investigation.”

Cycling Without Age is a nonprofit organization that focuses on spreading joy through the use of the trishaw bike.

The process of getting the trishaw and putting it to use was difficult considering COVID restrictions, shipping from Montreal, training, and the initial model having a bent frame.

Although the complications pushed back their original release date, Connects was still able to introduce the trishaw to individuals in the community.

Testing of the new equipment began eight months ago at the Pioneer Lodge and Dr. James Hemstock & Hearthstone Place Assisted Living Residence.

Volunteer Coordinator Don Duncan mentioned the trishaw has a little wider turn radius than a regular bike however the ride is smooth and stable.

“It’s well geared so even older folks are able to pedal it without any difficulty.”

Border City Connects is currently working with Mount Joy to purchase some ski equipment to assist people with intellectual and physical challenges for the winter.

To sign up for a ride, residents can talk to the front desk at the Pioneer Lodge or contact Border City Connects.

About Montana Getty

Montana is a recent graduate of the NAIT Television program where many greats have come and gone. She is inquisitive and committed, especially when focusing on her passions, which include but are not limited to sports and videography. Her curious nature helps take her to new heights as she strives for excellence. Her sense of humour shows no boundaries as she makes her way through life with a passionate and positive outlook.

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