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June 28, 2017

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American 'Grandriders' roll into Hualien

TAIPEI--A group of 10 American seniors, who are on a motorcycle tour of Taiwan, arrived in the eastern county of Hualien on Saturday on the fourth day of their trip.

Well-known documentary filmmaker Peter Starr, the group leader, said the scenery in Taiwan is beautiful and the people are friendly.

Starr said he was very happy to visit the country and to meet the Taiwan Grandriders, a group of 17 elderly motorcycle enthusiasts whose adventures have been made into a documentary.

Some 25 Taiwanese seniors, 75 years old on average, also joined the U.S. group but rode pillion behind younger motorcyclists out of safety concerns.

The whole group visited a nursing home in Hualien County and encouraged the seniors there to keep up their spirits and remember that people are never too old to realize their dreams.

The trip to Taiwan was organized to pay tribute to the Taiwan Grandriders. The Americans said they were inspired by the Taiwanese group to pursue their dreams.

The American riders departed from Taichung on Oct. 16 and headed to Chiayi County and the Alishan mountain resort before turning east to Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County and then to Hualien and Yilan counties in eastern Taiwan. Their route will then wind from Yilan County back to Taipei on Oct. 22.

Five years ago, the Taiwan Grandriders embarked on a 1,178-kilometer journey around Taiwan by motorcycle to fulfill their dream of seeing every part of the country.

This year, their adventure was made into a 90-minute film "Go Grandriders," which has taken in NT$4 million (US$136,910) at the box office so far, according to the film company.

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