- AENEAS Measure #3
Senior citizen mobility training
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specially adapted bicycles
specially adapted to the needs of older people
Mobility – especially active travel – is an important factor in
older peoples' lives. It stands for independence, autonomy and
quality of life. Being mobile makes participation in social life
easy and helps to keep in touch with relatives and friends.
Thus many older people practice cycling regularly, however they feel
that road traffic is increasingly challenging for them. They also
find that standard bicycles are not adapted to their requirements.
More than 1000 training participants
Munich’s local environmental organisation
developed a cycling training scheme for older people in 2006,
supported by the City of Munich. The major goal of the training
courses is to make older people enjoy everyday cycling. Moreover,
they should be trained for critical situations in traffic and
overcome acceptance problems regarding specially adapted bikes like
tricycles and electrically supported bikes.
The training scheme was carried out in cooperation with the local
police, a physiotherapist and local “Older Citizen’s Service Centres”,
with the latter one serving as multiplier and providing the venue. A
typical training session started with an introduction by the police
on road safety issues. Later on, a physiotherapist explained age
related health issues and showed small exercises that can be done
for prevention. Finally, the participants had the opportunity to
test different types of bicycles, all of them specially adapted to
the needs of older people.
It is important to work with relatively small groups and to provide
a wide range of bicycles suited for different abilities. This can be
achieved by involving local bicycle dealers. Local stakeholders such
as the “Older Citizen’s Service Centres” with approx. 25 branch
offices in the city’s neighbourhoods can serve as multiplier.
Because most older people have no training about traffic signs and
right behavior it is very important to give them this knowledge. For
this reason the involvement of the local police is important, and
because the senior citizens trust and follow the advice of police
officers very much.