Minnesota nursing homes embrace Danish cycling idea that puts older adults on wheels

Outside the senior home, Sister Rosalind Gefre ditched her walker for a bicycle ride — without having to pedal at all.

At 89, the nun can’t bike like she used to, but a new program is helping her and other older adults with limited mobility experience again the thrill of bicycling around St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Wearing a sweater over her black and white habit, Gefre sat in the passenger seat of a trishaw, an electric-assisted bike similar to a pedicab, as she chatted and laughed nonstop with 86-year-old Sister Susan Smith. While Anthony Desnick, 65, of St. Paul pedaled behind them, the women reminisced about life in the convent and marveled at the stately homes along the Mississippi River and the gushing Minnehaha Falls.