RED-DY TO ROLL: May Williams taking a spin on Charleville Healthy Ageing Project's new Surrey Bike.
RED-DY TO ROLL: May Williams taking a spin on Charleville Healthy Ageing Project's new Surrey Bike. Healthy Ageing Project

Seniors develop pedal power

OLDER residents of Charleville now have a fun way of getting around town, with the arrival of a six-person quadracycle at Healthy Ageing Charleville.

Healthy Ageing project officer Deb Alick said the organisation had purchased a Surrey Bike, as they are colloquially known, for use locally.

"The Surrey Bike is a four-to-six-seat, pedal- powered, covered vehicle which allows everyone to participate in pedalling the vehicle along while one person steers,” Ms Alick said.

"It's like a bicycle, only bigger and better.”

Locals might recognise the red vehicle from its maiden voyage during Charleville's 150th birthday celebrations, where it appeared in the street parade.

"The Surrey Bike actually arrived a week before the parade, which was perfect timing,” said Ms Alick.

"We wanted to make it public in a big way, and I think we certainly did that.”

Since the parade, it has mostly been used for short trips around the block as the riders work on their physical endurance.

"It takes a bit more effort than you'd think to pedal the bike - there's a lot more leg muscle involved,” she said.

"For our clients, it improves their physical activity and works on endurance for them in the same way our stationary bikes do, but in a way that is more fun.”

Ms Alick said Healthy Ageing had several stationary bicycles in place at its Alfred St premises in Charleville for use by program participants.

"They will be able to use the skills and muscle power developed on the stationary bicycles to take the Surrey Bike around town for a spin,” she said.

"It will help promote physical activity, cooperation, fun and social interaction in our community.”

With a focus on social interaction, Ms Alick said the program wouldn't exclude its less-mobile participants from the cycling fun.

"The Surrey Bike can fit four pedallers and two non-pedallers, so we can take passengers for a ride too, as long as there are enough helmets.

"We already have a waiting list of excited participants and some very bright helmets, so keep a look out on the road for us.”


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