Ten of the 17 Taiwanese senior motorcyclists featured in the documentary film Go Grandriders will meet their American counterparts to start a journey from San Jose on August 20, traveling along US West Coast to reach their destination in Los Angeles, California.
These 10 senior riders have an average age of 87 (the oldest is 95, with only one female rider), while the American riders are not young either, with an average age of 55 (the oldest is 68). The American riders are enthusiasts of heavy motorcycles and are members of the BMW Club of Northern California. Edward Perry, leader of the senior motorcade, is a former Santa Clara County assistant sheriff, and was deeply moved by the movie Go Grandriders. After learning of Taiwan’s Hondao Senior Citizens Welfare Foundation’s idea to sponsor a California trip for the Taiwanese grandriders, Perry, whose wife originates from Taiwan, volunteered to participate in planning the journey. With the full support of Z. Ortiz, the Club’s president, Perry organized a team of American volunteers to join and scout out the route. Ortiz will also ride along with the motorcade.
Taiwanese-American communities in the San Francisco Bay Area will stage a kick-off ceremony for the Taiwanese grandriders in San Jose on the morning of August 20. Local politicians from the county and representatives of the co-sponsoring organizations will be present at the ceremony to cheer the riders on their way. A safety briefing will be given to the Taiwanese riders by their American counterparts before the kick-off ceremony.
Under the escort of police cars, the motorcade is expected to leave around 11:30 am and will head directly for Highway 101, passing through Monterey and Santa Barbara before reaching Los Angeles on August 23. Although the Taiwanese grandriders will be passengers, sitting on the back of the American motorcycles, the 430-mile long journey still poses major challenges for their elderly minds and bodies.
The motorcycles are BMWs but different models, including BMW R1200 GS, BMW K1200 LT, and BMW R1200 RT as well.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco invites local journalists to cover the kick-off ceremony at the plaza in front of the Santa Clara County Government Center (70 W. Hedding St., San Jose) at 10:00 am on August 20.