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Elderly cyclists from Taiwan arrive in States from Canada

PORTLAND -- Dozens of elderly cyclists from Taiwan and other countries arrived in the United States from Canada on Wednesday on the second leg of a 2,000-kilometer ride that will take them down the U.S. west coast.

Upon arrival in Port Angeles, Washington, the 42 cyclists were greeted by local officials, the media and residents, including flag-waving Taiwanese expatriates.

Among the officials who came out to welcome the cyclists were Port Angeles Mayor Dan Di Guilio and his deputy Patrick Downie, as well as Taiwan's top envoy to Seattle Chin Hsing.

It was the second day of a 2,000km trip that will take the Taiwanese, Japanese and Singaporean riders, average age 70, to the U.S. west coast cities of Seattle, Portland, Lincoln City, San Francisco and San Jose over a period of 21 days.

Before they departed Tuesday from the Canadian city of Burnaby, the oldest among them, 94-year-old Taiwanese Chiang Lieh, said he was confident he could complete the cycling trip as planned on April 22.

Lee Chih-wei, chief executive of the Christian charity Concern and Care Society that organized the tour, said it took five years to plan and was aimed at showing the capabilities of the elderly.

On average, the elderly cyclists have logged over 6,000 kilometers on the road, with some having completed three bicycle trips around Taiwan and rides from Shanghai to Beijing and from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Lee said.

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