From Matt Perry
When Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper rode their choppers across America in the 1969 classic “Easy Rider,” the iconic film helped popularize the anti-hero: adventurous, rebellious, and passionately committed to a life of freedom.
For some older adults, these ideals never go out of style.
In 2007, 17 Taiwanese motorcyclists averaging over 80 years old circled their home island to celebrate active aging – 730 miles in 13 days.
The adventure spawned powerful stories of triumph and despair, captured in last year’s Go Grandriders, that became the highest-grossing documentary ever in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The film celebrates the “Bu Lao” spirit — forever young – codified in the movie’s tag line: “Would you still dare to dream when you’re 80 years old?”
Now in California to promote healthy aging and the American launch of the documentary, 10 of the original riders are preparing for a scenic ride down Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles that begins next Tuesday.
After an Aug. 16 opening ceremony and film premiere in Cupertino – part of a packed schedule that includes visits to senior care facilities, autograph signings, film screenings, and a trip to the Ronald Reagan Library – the riders will ride south from San Jose next Tuesday. The film will screen at selected theaters along the route.
Because of the unfamiliar turf and dangerous curves on Highway 1, the Taiwanese riders – 68 years is the oldest for this American trip – will be seated behind volunteers from the BMW Club of Northern California.