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Elderly Taiwanese make cover of U.S. motorcycling magazine

2012/05/03 20:34:00

Los Angeles, May 1 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese riders over the age of 80 was featured in the April issue of Motorcyclist magazine in the United States, after they completed a ride around Taiwan last year.

The article was written by American Peter Starr, an award-winning documentary director and motorcycle enthusiast, who joined the elderly "Grand Riders" on their trip of nearly 700 miles around Taiwan.

Some of the elderly motorcyclists had cancer or degenerative heart disease, and all of them suffered from arthritis.

"I didn't stop riding because I got old, I got old because I stopped riding," one the Taiwanese riders was quoted as saying in the article.

Starr, 69, said he was inspired by a commercial about the elderly riders, so he decided to make a documentary about their adventure.

The theme of the film "is about having a dream and a purpose for living out your years productively, and after watching the video I was left with a gargantuan lump in my throat and far-from-dry eyes," Starr wrote.

The trip served mainly to prove to the riders -- but also to others in the same predicament -- that chronological age is merely a number, he said in the article.

"These people worked hard to take care of their families for almost their whole lives, and then when they got old their children and society prevented them from doing things that may be adventuresome or risky," he said.

Starr, who visited landscapes in Taiwan's remote area during the journey, said the scenery around the island was as good as the Alps in Europe.

After completing the trip, he said, he hopes to return to Taiwan later this year to join the Grand Riders on their annual ride and he is aiming to take 10 Americans of appropriate age with him.

Meanwhile, another story published in the same issue praised the quality of Taiwan-made motorcycles.

Taiwanese-built vehicles such as Aeon, Kymco, SYM and TGB, plus the imported units that are built in Taiwan and then sold under well-known American and Japanese brand names, have maintained an all-time high quality, the article said.

However, the public perception of Taiwan-made products, especially in the U.S., remains stagnant, the magazine said.

(By Oscar Wu and Hanna Liu)