PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When you were a kid your tricycle had one wheel in the front and two in the back. For a group of seniors it's the opposite with two wheels in the front and one in the back.
Do not get in Dianne Lombard's way as she wheels out the front door of The Cedars in Portland on her way to her favorite weekly activity. Biking with the Portland Wheelers. A group designed to give those who can't ride a bike by themselves, but would love to go for a spin. Lombard sitting in the front as a wheeler, volunteers like Sue Wall in the back as the pilot.
"Once we get started all we are thinking about is what things look like from the wheelers point of view, so we talk about the flowers they are seeing and the birds they are hearing," said Wall.
Had you told the wheelers three years ago they would get to go for a bike ride, you would have trouble convincing them. Now that an adaptive program exists to give 13 senior facilities another chance at putting on the helmet, there's a line of participants like Fanny Bibeau eager for the chance to ride the trail around Back Cove.
"See all the pretty flowers and see the outline of the city and the ocean and get out in the fresh air," said Bibeau. "We love it."
Before each time out Bibeau and the other seniors from The Cedars are asked about their mood and how their day is going. The same questions are asked when they return to see what kind of a difference the time on the gravel and tar makes according to Portland Wheelers organizer Doug Malcolm.
"Beginning stages here to show that ride therapy on bicycles also has a tremendous impact on depression, feelings of isolation," said Malcolm.
Portland Wheelers will be offering rides this summer to members of the public who aren't able to ride a bike on their own Saturday mornings at Cycle Mania in Portland.