Some dreams never become stale and that was the case for a group of octogenarians who undertook to motorcycle around Taiwan. The documentary Go Grandriders follows the group’s 13-day journey in the fall of 2007, sharing their individual stories, their camaraderie and the hurdles they faced along the way. The film will screen at the Finley Community Center Auditorium (2060 W. College Avenue, Santa Rosa) on Thursday, October 17 at 2pm. The free screening is sponsored by the City of Santa Rosa, Redwood Empire Chinese Association and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco.
Completing the trip around the island did not come easy. All of them were in decent health, for octogenarians, but all were suffering the consequences of old age and its inevitable aches and pains. Among them, two had survived cancer, four were hearing aid dependent, five had high-blood pressure and eight were suffering from cardiovascular disease. The participants came from all walks of life, with varying reasons to undertake the journey.
The ride was initiated by Taiwan’s Hondao Senior Citizens Welfare Foundation, with the goal of promoting a positive image of the island’s aging population. The zest for life shown by the grandriders is important, especially given the aged society of most developed countries. In Taiwan, the elderly population (65 and over) will outnumber the young by 2016.
The film was produced by CNEX’s Ben Tsiang and directed by Huan Tien-hao. In October 2012, Go Grandriders was released in Taiwan and soon broke box office records for documentary films in Taiwan. It was selected for the 2013 CAAMFest in San Francisco and has been shown in selected venues throughout the Bay Area.
As a follow-up to their initial trip, in August, ten members of the original group decided to visit California. During their visit, they also motorcycled from Santa Clara to Los Angeles, riding in tandem with American volunteers from the BMW Club of Northern California. The group completed their three-day trip safely on August 23.