Matt back on the saddle to cycle South Korea

Matthew Redmond at the demilitarized zone in Korea just before he set off on his epic cycle.
Matthew Redmond at the demilitarized zone in Korea just before he set off on his epic cycle.

Fresh from conquering India on a motorcycle, a Dromore man has now cycled 600km across South Korea on a bicycle.

Back in February, The Leader reported how Matthew Redmond had completed the 4,000km journey across India on a rusty old motorbike he purchased in Delhi.

Not content with that, Matthew decided to cycle 660km from the most northern point of South Korea, the demilitarised zone, to the most southerly city in Busan.

Speaking to The Leader, he admitted the challenge has been much harder than he anticipated.

Matthew said: “I decided to do it because I wanted a good way to see and experience Korea but I wanted there to be a challenge attached to it as well, so I figured now was a better time than ever to get into the cycling scene.

“I cycled from the one of the furthest north points of Korea I could travel to, the DMZ, then I cycled 660km to the very bottom coastal city of Busan and I had given myself four days to do it.

“Luckily I’m ignorantly determined because if I knew cycling 660km was going to be that hard I would have never done it. Three days after completing it I was still struggling to walk.

“The DMZ is strange. At the minute it’s one of the center points of world media attention but in reality it’s a mix between a tourist attraction and a heavily guarded border. I started at a town on the access boundary called Imjingak.

“Around this area you can find amusement parks and many tours being operated as well as heavily guarded fences and roads .

“I found the trip to be incredibly challenging. The least amount of time I would spend on my bike was 12 hours a day and one of the days I spent as much as 17 hours in the saddle.

“I experienced every ache and pain that goes along with long distance cycling, from a sore back to an sore ass.

“If I were to do it again I would make sure I ate more during the tour, because it’s easy to forget your nutrition especially when you have a crazy amount of kilometers to travel by the end of a day and your expending over 7,000 calories a day.

“After one or two days of neglecting this you really start to notice yourself becoming weaker. Eventually after over 50 hours cycling later I made it to Busan, and just about.

“The last day was particularly tough as I had started to experience some injuries with my knees 100km away from the end so I really had to push myself to get to my finish line at the coast.

After finishing the trip now that I can relax and reflect I can really appreciate how beautiful Korea is and how lucky I am to be in a position to be able to cycle it from end to end.