Hong Kong cyclists complete epic journey to Paris

Riders reach finish line after cycling all the way to Paris to send out a message to city's youth

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 December, 2012, 5:38am

Four young Hongkongers arrived at the Eiffel Tower on Saturday, tired but elated after cycling 12,000 kilometres from their home city to Paris.

Their epic 7-1/2-month trip was to spread the message to young people that anyone can step out of their comfort zone and do something extraordinary.

Law Yip-man, a 25-year-old construction supervisor, came up with the idea early this year after being inspired by Hsueh Deray, a Taiwanese computer engineer who cycled from Beijing to Paris in 2007.

His friends Taylor Chung Tai-loi, 24, a political science graduate, and 22-year-old adventure coach Prince Wong Tze-kin immediately embraced the idea.

Together, they formed "Bike for Another Choice", which aims to explore alternative life goals and to advocate cycling as a way of protecting the environment.

"Everything starts with an idea … With courage and determination, you will achieve that by whatever means possible as long as you are really keen on the goal," said Law.

Tim Yu Tin-yu, a 27-year-old quantity surveyor, joined the group after coming across the plan in an online forum.

"It only took me two days to decide. I wanted to prove I could achieve something different apart from my repetitive work life," said Yu.

The quartet set off on their adventure in May. They rode through Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Turkey and then headed to central Europe.

But they had to avoid Iran because they were not granted entry visas.

Each of the riders spent more than HK$50,000 to make the trip, but they received a total of HK$50,000 in sponsorship.

The toughest parts were in India, where they had to cycle in the scorching heat while being attacked by mosquitoes, and Germany, where they cycled through sleet overnight in temperatures of minus 8 degrees Celsius to reach their destination on time.

Earlier this month, they even had some of their possessions stolen, including photos and videos from their trip.

Taking pictures at the finish line at the Eiffel Tower, Chung wore his graduation gown, as he missed his graduation in Hong Kong because of the tour.

Wong said: "All of us are ordinary people, but we overcame the difficulties to be here in Paris. I hope this will give others a bit of motivation and courage to strive for their own dream."

They will spend a few weeks travelling in Europe separately before coming home next month. They plan to publish a book to share their story.