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May 28, 2017

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'Grandriders' to hit the road in California for West Coast tour

TAIPEI--Ten elderly Taiwanese motorcyclists, dubbed the Grandriders, will depart late Thursday for the U.S. where they will go on a tour along the West Coast as part of their efforts to share their enthusiasm for life, the organizers said.

The tour will take them along the California coast from San Francisco to San Jose, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, according to the Hondao Senior Citizen's Welfare Foundation in Taichung.

The Grandriders, whose average age is 87, do not have U.S. motorbike licenses so they will ride pillion with U.S. motorcyclists.

During the 12-day trip, the Grandriders will have numerous opportunities to interact with other senior citizens and talk with the media, the foundation said.

One of the experiences they will talk about is their 1,178-kilometer motorbike trip around Taiwan in 2007, it said.

Along the way, they will also attend premiers of "Go Grandriders," a film based on their story and the first Taiwanese documentary to be screened commercially in U.S. cinemas, the foundation said.

Expressing excitement about the upcoming ride, the motorcyclists said they are looking forward to sharing their enthusiasm for travel and learning more about what elderly Americans do for fun.

"I am proud of the riders because our group is about love," said Chang Chen Ying-mei, 72, who is traveling with her husband and is the only woman in the group.

She said she is undaunted by the fact that she did not learn to ride a motorcycle until she was 60 or by the perception that biking is more of a male activity.

The Grandriders' tour in California is expected to last until Aug. 26.

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