Giving pedal power to seniors

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Silver Spokes is a weekly cycling class for seniors organized by the City of Decatur.

These are not your typical bikes, they're overgrown tricycles for adults.

"I've seen the fear factor for maybe first five minutes," says Decatur Active Living Director Greg White. "Then I think with the three wheels all of a sudden it's like, "I'm out here, I'm free, I got some freedom, like all of a sudden fear just disappears."

Through a grant, the city purchased three bikes. The program was rolled out in June.  So far, fifteen seniors have given it a whirl.

Student Khanida Shad says, " I always wanted to ride a bike, but somehow I didn't get the opportunity."

But now, a few months into it, she's wheeling away. "We have been going out on the road also," says Shad. "It was difficult to go on the hills, but we have been doing that and I've been liking it very much."

This is the first time Julia McBee has been on a bike since she had an accident eleven years ago.

"I said it's time to get back on some kind of wheels," said McBee. "I'm hoping i can get proficient enough on it that I can ride into Decatur from my apartment."

White said this biking class builds not just confidence, but bridges as well.

"I've see people from all parts of the community come here," said White. "As people age it's important to stay connected to people, and this was one way, and it's an outlet, people come. I've seen people leave here and they go eat breakfast together."

It's just one more way this bike friendly city is spinning to the top.

"Decatur's always known to be like the trend setter," said White, " to do things different, try new things, experiment with new things, give people new opportunities, to make it fun for people, that's why Decatur's Decatur. "

White added that it's been great seeing people having fun and coming back for more.

"Yeah I'm still coming," says Shad, "I love it, I love it!"

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