Cycling Without Age
Remember the sense of independence you felt when you hopped on a bike, the summer sun and fresh air warming your face as you explored your neighborhood? Our Sisters are no different: they are used to being active, serving others, and celebrating the simple joys of being outdoors as walkers, hikers, and bikers. Today many of these Sisters now live at St. Francis Convent, some with physical, cognitive, or neurological disorders that can leave them feeling disengaged from the outside world, lonely and anxious.
Happily, our soon-to-be launched Cycling Without Age program will bring back those wonderful feelings of freedom, exploration, and connection with the natural world. The program consists of an electric-assist trishaw that comfortably seats two Sisters with a seatbelt, canopy to protect from sun and wind, and a warming blanket. A volunteer driver ("pilot") — fully trained through a partnership with the Wisconsin Bike Federation — will pedal our Sisters around our campus and surrounding neighborhoods and on bike trails along Lake Michigan and in nearby parks. And for the first time in years, our Sisters will be able to visit an adjacent cemetery in which many Sisters and other religious are buried.
Volunteer Training Program
Thanks to a generous donor, we will be receiving our first trishaw in early 2024. We are now seeking additional funding to support our volunteer recruitment and training program. The estimated cost to establish, manage, and sustain our volunteer training program is $10,000. We may also need a second trishaw ($16,000), if overwhelmingly positive reaction by Sisters to earlier test rides is any indication.
If you are interested in supporting the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi's Cycling Without Age program, please email Nancy Ketchman or call 414-294-7329.
(Above, l to r): Sisters Rose Martin and Lenore Steilen enjoying a ride around our campus on a trishaw with a volunteer pilot.
(Top of page, l to r): Sisters Ruth Gardner and Jeanne Carrigan get ready to explore Convent Park on a trishaw.