Stories From OUr Volunteers

My wife Deb and I have been volunteering for Cycling Without Age Sorrento, a service that provides for the elderly and those less mobile. Our rides allow them to get out in the open air and get the wind in their hair and sun on their faces. We have loved doing this every time. Absolutely.

Nellie, on the right in the photo, is a spritely 103. Her friend Judy accompanied Nellie on her first ever ride. As we rode along, Judy described the ride to Nellie. I wondered why. I then learnt that Nellie is visually impaired.

As Judy held Nellie’s hand in hers, Judy described the grass on the right, the trees on the left and the big beautiful houses over the road. As the colour of the ocean came into view Nellie said that she could smell the ocean. I realised then, that I was seeing my ride from a different perspective. And I loved it.

Moments like these are why I do this. Priceless and another life lesson! 

Peter Holst – Cycling Without Age Sorrento pilot
Peter Holst, Volunteer Pilot, pictured riding in Sorrento

Therese tried to pat all the dogs we passed.

Today, the sun shone brightly. There was a sense of giddy in the air.

I had a fantastic ride with 91-year-old Therese and her lovely granddaughter. 

Therese tried to pat all the dogs we passed. At the end they got double trouble!

I just love our community.

Rochelle Graham – Volunteer Pilot, riding in Watermans Bay.

With my passengers Saphrah and her carer Wayan ,we successfully completed a marathon Mullaloo to Burns Beach ride, which gave us a great opportunity to test some newly-completed sections of path. 

The new paths are ultra smooth but some of the old concrete sections are quite bumpy much to the delight of Saphrah who loves the odd bump!

Once past the lookout just north of Mullaloo, the stunning coastline really opens up and comes alive. It’s really worth pushing north.

Saphrah smiled and loved every minute of the light morning breeze and fresh sea air. Some steep hills that way… a jogger did offer to push us up mid-climb, but with some good leg power and cheating from the electric assist, we managed it. We had a well-earned water at Burns Beach before heading back to Mullaloo for ride debrief and finally a relaxing coffee on the grass.

An exceptional ride today, that beautifully celebrates our magnificent coast. I am looking forward to offering this section of path as a permanent addition to an already popular route out of Sorrento.

One of the potential northward routes Volunteer Pilot Steve Prynne has scouted towards Burns Beach.
Steve Prynne with Wayan and Saphrah

As a citizen I believe those who have the capacity, have a moral responsibility to volunteer for the community.

For me though, it goes way beyond any obligation, because of the joy that volunteering brings. Whether it be timekeeper at Parkrun, treasurer on the school P&C or a coach of my son’s football side.

Being a pilot of the Sorrento Trishaw has been the most special, simply because it’s a smile machine. From pedestrians to passengers, or the wonderful staff at Canteen Trigg and White Salt, it’s the best experience.

The grandad with dementia was a brilliant passenger. As his granddaughter cringed in the seat next to him, he cheerily greeted every individual along the route, and everyone responded and rewarded with the widest grin.

It’s a special service and I am proud to be part of such a wonderful team

Adam Maxwell – Cycling Without Age Sorrento pilot
Adam Maxwell, Volunteer Pilot, pictured riding in Marmion

As an amateur cyclist I always enjoyed heading out for a ride along West Coast Highway. One day my cycling buddy and I spotted this funny looking bike — the trishaw — taking its lucky passengers for a breath of fresh air along our spectacular ocean-front promenade.

Not long after, we approached the person in charge, Alanagh and discovered “Cycling without Age”. I instantly fell in love with the initiative, allowing those in our community who cannot ride themselves an opportunity to experience a sidewalk-cruise along our pretty strip of coastline.

Cycling without age is no ordinary ride, it helps connect people, allowing them to feel inclusive and accepted. To me it’s always very humbling, as every time, without fail, it allows me to experience meaningful moments in the lives of extraordinary people.

Georges Baptista - Cycling Without Age Sorrento volunteer pilot
Georges Baptista, Volunteer Pilot, pictured with happy passengers in Trigg

Whilst at my day job I met John. After realising John doesn't get out too much, I offered him a ride on the Trishaw where I volunteer as a pilot/rider. John has not looked back and is now a regular.

When I learned he had a birthday coming up, a ride was organised to celebrate. John got dressed up for the event and wore a big smile for the entire ride. When passing pedestrians got wind it was his birthday, John was greeted with birthday wishes for the entire ride.

John was born in the UK in 1933. He was a school teacher, and at the age of 42 moved to Australia with his young family. They travelled here by boat, John educating his children on the voyage across. He continued his teaching career in Australia, buying a block of land in Hillarys and building a home in 1982, where he still lives today.

John is a well-known member of the Whitfords Catholic Church community, and attends church every weekend. Apart from his outings to church, he is unable to get out and about much, so his coastal rides and coffee are a big highlight on his calendar.

Here we have photos of John and Renee having their morning tea celebration, hosted by our friends at White Salt Cafe and Restaurant.

Renee Gemmill - volunteer pilot
Renee Gemmill, Volunteer Pilot, pictured with John in Sorrento
Renee Gemmill - volunteer pilot
John enjoys his birthday cake and coffee.
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