Taking a Senior Ride with Ed and Barbara

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While Senior Ride Nashville has witnessed our riders and volunteer drivers build friendships through our service, one pair has become their own mutual admiration society.

Edward L. swings by the house of member Barbara G. most Mondays and Wednesdays. The task at hand is to get Barbara to the Bellevue YMCA and Fifty Forward for her exercise class, which he does. But there’s more to it than that these days. With encouragement from Ed, Barbara says she’s more motivated to get out to the class when staying home on the couch would be so much easier.

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“I had a big fall and I couldn’t drive anymore, so Ed and Senior Ride has been my transportation,” says Barbara. “I love Senior Ride. Someone is here every Monday and Wednesday and it just works out great.”

Before volunteering with Senior Ride, Ed, who’s semi-retired, was driving for UBER but was donating the proceeds from that venture to Second Harvest Food Bank. Always looking to volunteer, he joined Senior Ride because unlike UBER the rides were scheduled in advance.

While he signs up to drive many riders, he has taken on the bulk of Barbara’s ride requests. He did it at first because of the convenient time of day and because Fifty Forward is near his home, but now it’s more like a friend helping a friend.

“I’ve taken Barbara on something like 42 rides now and we’ve really gotten to know each other,” says Ed. “We talk about family, about kids, just about anything.”

Since the rides began, Barbara says that she is moving about much better and has a new level of confidence.

“She says that when she gets out, she feels better,” says Ed. “And for me it gets me out of the house to do something useful since I’m retired.” So, both agree, like good coaches or motivators, they are helping each other improve their lives. And for these retirees, it doesn’t feel like work at all.