Kuo Chang-rong, an 84-year-old man living in Luodong, Yilan County, spent nine days and eight nights riding his bicycle around Taiwan. By doing so, he has proven that he is still full of youthful vigor and vitality.
This octogenarian, who had previously made a TV appearance in a vitamin commercial for seniors, took up the challenge of riding a bicycle around the island. Members of the Bicycle Association of Yilan also rode with him. The group of cyclists departed from Luodong on the morning of April 16, heading south on the Suhua Highway. Upon completing their trip around Taiwan, they arrived in Luodong on April 24 after a 1,150-kilometer-long journey.
After they set off on their journey, they traveled clockwise around the island through Hualien, Taitung and Pingtung, and then headed north along the west coast. They slept in hostels, hotels and motels at night. The first day of their trip was sultry, while the weather was a bit unsettled during the following days. They wore raincoats when it rained and were bathing in sweat when the weather was nice and sunny. At times they had to pedal against the wind, and each day offered a different challenge.
Kuo said that riding a bicycle around Taiwan is the epitome of life itself, and that even though one may feel the joy of laughter at times, it is also full of challenges. If one shrinks back when encountering difficulties and gives up halfway, one must come up with a solution and march forward courageously in order to reach one’s final destination.
“Going around Taiwan on a bicycle isn’t reserved for young people only,” said the old man. He stressed that if seniors stay fit and prepare thoroughly in advance, they could also ride around the island. Already 84 years old, he has achieved something that seems almost inconceivable to other people, and proven that even the elderly can do the same things young people do.
Kuo plans to take part in a bicycle competition to be held on Taiping Mountain in May, and to ride around Taiwan once a year. He hopes there will be more seniors joining the round-Taiwan trip next year to experience together the joy of riding a bike.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)