In August Miravida Living had the privilege of hosting the first Cycling Without Age Americas Summit. Over three days CWA leaders and enthusiasts shared stories, participated in workshops and true to its purpose, hosted a city-wide ride for residents of Miravida Living.
There were a number of special guests, including Linda Seemeyer, the secretary of Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Don Wilson, a retired member of the Oshkosh Police Department, Dr. Judy Westphal the dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and many representatives from Cycling Without Age programs from far and wide.
After helping Miravida Living launch their program in 2015, Cycling Without Age decided it would be a great experience to have an international gathering in Oshkosh.
Dorthe Pedersen, one of the two Danish founders that launched the first Cycling Without Age chapter in Copenhagen in 2013, worked extensively with Bonnie Behnke, Miravida’s vice president of development and designated CWA ambassador, to plan and execute the summit.
“I decided to move the summits to new locations and countries in order to make them accessible to more participants who might not have the chance to travel halfway around the world,” Pedersen said. “Also we wanted to allow speakers and presenters with another background than Danish in order to get wider perspectives on the topics we address and that are crucial to our program.”
During the summit, guests shared their experiences with this invaluable program. Throughout the summit it became even clearer that Cycling Without Age is all about building relationships. One rickshaw ride can have a ripple effect on the passengers, riders and the community as a whole. There is no other program that connects different groups of people in such a unique and powerful way.
“It was truly inspiring to have amazing speakers present their studies, or their experience, and most importantly that CWA chapters had the chance to present and share the highlights from their individual local programs,” Pedersen said. “It was very inspiring to everybody and to see how everyone carries our mutual values into their work and communities.”
We can’t wait to see what will come next for Cycling Without Age! If you’re interested in becoming a rickshaw pilot here in Oshkosh, call (920) 235-3454. Licensed pilots, don’t forget to sign up to spend time with our residents and take them out before the cold weather arrives!