Stories From OUr Volunteers

For many years my Dad and I would cycle all over the city. Often doing gruelling hills rides or riding to Mandurah.

When my dad was 69 he was diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. Over the next few years we were still able to ride most days. However, a noticeable decline in his balance and reaction time eventually made it too dangerous for Dad to continue riding. 
For a very active, confident and competitive person this had a huge impact on my Dad’s life. He soon became a recluse as he was too embarrassed to go out in public due to his tremors. This was the hardest thing to see. 
I was watching The Project one night and they had a feature item about the Cycling Without Age program over east. I immediately wanted to be involved in this incredible organisation. 
A quick Google search found that I had a chapter just down the road from me in Sorrento. A quick email was sent to the charity providing the service. I was then being trained up as a pilot. 
Dad initially wasn’t keen on coming for a ride with me, stating “I don’t like people organising my day for me!” But after one adventure down the coast with me he was hooked. 
What an incredible way to get the lonely, the isolated, connected back with community. 
Dad is now in a nursing home. However, he always looks forward to the days where I get to bust him out for a morning ride.
Most importantly, when he is out on the bike, is the only time that Dad’s tremors cease. This, in itself, shows just how powerful the impact the rides, the connection to community, the connection to memories, have on our most vulnerable in our community. 
I will be forever grateful of Motion By The Ocean for being able to give something so wonderful back to my Dad and also to me. Dad and I can ride again. 
Chriss — volunteer, and her Dad (above)

As a previous volunteer, I can’t recommend this free experience enough!!

The joy the ride gave numerous clients was all it needed to feel it was worth while.
I gave little coastal history talks with copies of photos I obtained from Joondalup museum — the whaling Station in Sorrento, the beach shacks (MAAC) and the man-made ‘Mettams Pool’ to name a few.
This experience is available to anyone, any age, and I loved piloting. Alas, work at the time got in the way of continuing.
If you are thinking of volunteering, make contact. You won’t regret it!!! If you are a carer or a parent of someone who you think would enjoy the wind in their hair, reach out.
Mark, previous volunteer

This is no ordinary ride as it helps connect people, allowing them to feel inclusive and accepted.

As a former volunteer, it’s always been very humbling, as every time, without fail, it allowed me to experience meaningful moments in the lives of extraordinary people.

Previous volunteer Georges and passengers

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, 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 — volunteer pilot

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.

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