Elderly 'Grandriders' start coastline ride in US
CNALOS ANGELES -- Ten elderly Taiwanese motorcyclists, dubbed the “Grandriders,” kicked off a 700-km ride along the coast of the U.S. state of California Tuesday in a bid to fulfill their dreams.
August 22, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Taiwanese expatriates in San Jose held a starting ceremony for the Grandriders that day, drawing news coverage by the mainstream media in the Bay Area, including local branches of the biggest three U.S. TV networks — ABC, CBS and NBC.
Huang Ma-tsun, a member of the Grandriders, said in an interview with CBS that his main purpose of taking part in the ride is to prove that an old man can still have the innocent heart of a child if he takes action to pursue his dreams.
Wang Jung-tian, who addressed the ceremony on behalf of the Grandriders, said he was deeply moved by the solid relations between Taiwanese and Americans when he saw the two countries' national flags flying around the venue.
The Grandriders, who average 87 years old, will bike from San Jose south to Los Angeles Aug. 20-23, with stops in the cities of Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, the event organizers said.
They will be accompanied by 10 American motorcyclists with an average age of 55 to carry them as pillion passengers down the coastline, because the Taiwanese bikers do not have U.S. licenses, the organizers said.
Edward Perry, chief of the American motorcyclist group, who is married to a Taiwanese woman, said he volunteered to plan the coastline ride because he was touched by the Taiwanese bikers' story after watching a documentary film about them.
The story of the Grandriders is documented in a 2012 film released in Taiwan. It tells the story of a group of 17 retirees who fulfill their dreams by embarking on a 13-day motorcycle tour around the island.