IT’S a long way from Marsden to South Korea.
But that’s the journey made by a Huddersfield man for his latest epic challenge.
Endurance cyclist Chris Wilby, 57, is taking part in the country’s first 1,200km randonee, or cycle tour.
He linked up with other cyclists from across the world for the challenge over 750 miles, beginning last Saturday.
The retired dad-of-three from Marsden only took up long distance cycling in his mid-forties but has already completed 1,600km (1,000 miles) and 1,200km rides through Italy and Spain, and a 1,200km ride across Alaska.
He flew out to Korea last weekend to join the ride challenge.
Chris said: “We started in Cheonan to tackle this epic journey, a true endurance test for legs and minds in the land of the morning calm.
“We are cycling for four days and three nights along the magnificent southern and western coasts, through the green heart of Korea and crossing majestic mountains.
“The ultimate challenge for us in Korea Randoneurs is to climb 9,000m in the course of 90 hours”.
A total of 24 riders from USA, Canada and Korea have joined Chris on the ride.
To qualify for the ride one must either complete a 1200Km ride in 2011 or a series of rides known as brevets – 200Km, 300Km, 400Km, and 600Km.
Chris qualified by completing the 1200km ride in Alaska.
He said: “The food in Korea will be interesting as kimshi seems to be the main side dish, which is fermented cabbage.
“Also some food such as octopus and dog are on many menus and in remote areas the translation to English might not be accurate.
“The ride is unsupported so no accommodation is provided on route. But there are 24hour saunas and Jjimjilbangs or luxury saunas at about 400km on the route where you can have a sauna and rest a few hours on camp beds.
“I will probably be riding solo for most of the ride, but I hope to be with other riders when I need to find a place to sleep so they can talk to the locals.