Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 4 News List

‘Grandriders’ set off on 11-day journey

MEMORABLE:Officials expressed their hope that the road trip will encourage more older people to pursue their dreams and help create a ‘happy environment’

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

A group of 26 elderly motorcyclists on Wednesday sets out on an 11-day trip around the nation from Taichung.

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times

The Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation on Wednesday launched the 10th annual “Go Grandriders” event in Taichung, where 26 participants began an 11-day, 1,250km road trip around the nation.

The motorcyclists are to ride counterclockwise around the nation, the foundation said, adding that they plan to travel 100km per day and are expected to return on Saturday next week.

The average age of the 26 participants is 75, with the oldest rider aged 87, the foundation said.

The event launched following a ceremony attended by Taichung Deputy Mayor Lin Yi-ying (林依瑩), Taichung Sports Bureau Director Wang Ching-tang (王慶堂) and foundation president Wang Nai-hung (王乃弘).

Lin, who contributed to the planning of the event several years ago, said that the total distance to be traveled this year outstripped the first event a decade ago by 100km.

Lin expressed her admiration for the elderly riders wanting to live out their dreams at their age.

To celebrate the Taichung City Government’s establishment of the Sports Bureau this year, it is to distribute commemorative tokens to all participants, she said.

“We hope this event encourages more older people to pursue their dreams,” Lin said, adding that such events show youths that even older people can be energetic.

“We hope this event can help foster a happy environment for those of advanced age,” she added.

This year’s edition is to take the riders to destinations including Pingtung County’s Kenting Township (墾丁) and Hualien County’s Taroko Gorge (太魯閣峽谷), Wang said.

“We hope that the additional distance will create more memorable moments in the event’s long history and that the event will allow elderly participants to retain what might be one of the best memories of their lives,” Wang said.

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