two people riding in a trishaw powered by someone else. A woman rides a bicycle behind them.
Wellspring Village residents enjoy the passenger seats on a trishaw. (Photo credit: Brightview Wellspring Village)

A biker gang descended on the riverwalk in Crofton, MD, on May 6. This group, however, did not bring any leather jackets or Harley Davidsons with them — only battery-assisted cycle rickshaws known as trishaws and memory care residents from nearby Brightview Crofton Riverwalk.

Michelle Godfrey, the director of the community’s Wellspring Village memory care program, said the contingent even received a few additions along the way.

“There were schools letting out, so they actually got to ride their bikes with kids on their bikes along with them,” she said. “It was a really unique experience.”

Part of a collaboration with Cycling Without Aging, Brightview residents enjoyed a six-mile bike ride with their own personal chauffeurs controlling the pedals. In addition to being a nice off-campus excursion, Godfrey said that it was a trip down memory lane for many residents. Sometimes, the feelings you get are just as important as the memories. 

“It’s been a long time since they’ve been able to be on a bicycle. They’re laughing like kids again, and all of them were talking about it for hours afterwards,” she said. “Even the residents with dementia remember these outings days later. They might not remember all of our names, but they remember the outings and how they made them feel.”

Godfrey said that the community will link up with Cycling Without Aging again soon, possibly with other regional communities, too. But for now, she is content to just enjoy the ride. As the saying goes: if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.

“As a nurse, it always made me sad leaving at the end of a shift and not being able to take the residents with me,” she said. “I think the most rewarding part of my [current] job is going out and experiencing things with the residents. We have the need to feel like our lives are lived to the fullest, and that doesn’t stop once you’re put in memory care.”

Above: Wellspring Village program residents enjoy the passenger seats on a trishaw. (Photo credit: Brightview Crofton Riverwalk)

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