Trishaws give HammondCare Strathearn residents at Scone the thrill of the open road

Traditional Asian transport in Upper Hunter

THERE is nothing like the feeling of wind in the hair and the freedom that comes from a spin on a bike - no matter what age you are.

And, with that in mind, HammondCare Strathearn, an aged care residential home at Scone, has taken ownership of two trishaw bikes, which mean residents can enjoy bike riding again in safety.

The trishaws, known as Triobike Taxis, can take two passengers sitting forward in comfort while a "pilot" pedals from behind.

It offers first-class travel with a comfortable, cushioned seat, seat belts and a retractable hood for rainy days.

It's a taste of traditional Asian transport - think Hanoi or old Beijing - in the Upper Hunter.

Scone Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Guihot and local doctor Richard Abbott have already taken Strathearn residents for a ride after volunteering to pilot the trishaws regularly.

"They love it," Mr Guihot said.

"It's so motivating for them to be able to get out for a ride around town.

"They are lining up to have a go."

The idea to purchase the trishaws came from Mr Guihot's wife Carey and Dr Abbott's partner Sue, who recognised the benefit they could bring through the global organisation Cycling Without Age.

The $30,000 purchase cost was met through a donation to the HammondCare Foundation courtesy of The Paradice Family Foundation.

Strathearn is now looking for more volunteers to pilot the trishaws to meet resident demand for more trips around town.

Mr Guihot said pilots do not need to be super fit to pedal the trishaws as an onboard electric motor provides extra push when required.

"We have a safe circuit around town - including taking them up to the local lookout and coasting downhill," he added.

"Everyone who drives past is so courteous.

"They wave and say hello."

Strathearn residential care manager Sarah Pearce said HammondCare was delighted to be able to offer the trishaws to residents.

"We appreciate the donation that made this possible and the local volunteers who are willing to give their time to take our residents for a ride," she explained.

Volunteers keen to be involved should contact Janelle Birch on 65441352 or email Janelle@strathearnvillage.com.au