Mon, Aug 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

‘Grandriders’ start tour to inspire their US counterparts

Staff writer, with CNA

The message that one is never too old to learn bridged the language and cultural gap between senior citizens in the US and 10 elderly Taiwanese motorcyclists, affectionately dubbed the “grandriders,” who are on a 12-day tour along the California coast this week.

The grandriders, whose average age is 87, shot to fame after a bank commercial used their 1,178km motorbike trip in 2007 around Taiwan as its inspiration.

Their journey and message have moved their counterparts in the US and they have been invited to visit California and ride with US motorcyclists.

Former Santa Clara County assistant sheriff Edward Perry, 57, will lead the US riders, whose average age is 55. He has helped coordinate the ride and scout out the route, as well as gathered volunteers to take the Taiwanese grandriders on the 700km journey.

Since the grandriders do not have US motorcycle licenses, they will ride pillion with US motorcyclists, according to the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation in Greater Taichung.

Perry said he was touched by the grandriders’ determination and eagerness to live life to the fullest.

“I have had some interest in the grandriders for some time and find their cause to be very positive and uplifting,” Perry said. “The message of never-stop learning, never-stop experiencing and never-stop growing is something I want to help spread.”

Having been a member of the BMW Club of Northern California for many years, Perry said he and his wife, who is from Taiwan, have traveled to many countries by motorcycle, including Canada, Mexico, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and Taiwan.

“I got involved in this event because of my passion for motorcycling, but more so because I love the message,” Perry said.

Perry said he is anxious to show the beauty of California to the Taiwanese grandriders and eager to see how they interact with their US counterparts.

The “Miracle Journey” will go from San Jose south to Los Angeles between Tuesday and Thursday, with stops in the cities of Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, where the riders will visit care centers for the elderly.

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