The MTR Cycling Challenge

By Iain MacDonald 2014-06-23• Hong Kong MTR

After seeing a couple visit every MTR station and take pictures at each of them, I decided I would do my own version. While Mark O’Leary and Aisling McDonnell travelled between each station by train I decided instead to cycle to all of them.

Mark & Aisling took photos at each MTR station
Mark & Aisling took photos at each MTR station

The end result of Mark & Aisling’s MTR Challenge was a lovely rainbow of images taken on the platform of each station.

If I was going to cycle to each one getting to the platform would not be feasible since it would mean using my octopus to beep in and out of every station, which would slowly rack up the price of the whole endeavour. The problem would not only be the cost though, it would have taken so much longer to complete, including having to lug my bike up and down countless escalators.

The original pair took fun and quirky pictures at each stop of their journey, themed with each station, sometimes even with props! This too was going to have to be missed out since I would be travelling light and turning up a sweating mess – a smile would be a bonus.

I started to think about how I was going to do it. Many of the lines I had previously cycled to, or at least already completed parts of, so I knew a bit about the scale of the challenge which lay before me. As always though I could see there would be some some difficult parts to do.

Below is the map of the whole MTR system correct at the time I started the challenge. Just as when Mark & Aisling did it there were 83 stations on 8 different main lines. The rules I set for myself were that I wasn’t allowed to use the actual MTR system to get about. I had to exclusively cycle or use ferries to get about. I also set myself the stipulation that I had to complete the whole line in one day. If I didn’t manage to get to the end for some reason I would have to start the whole line again another day.

With all this in mind I set out to complete my sweatier, less glamorous version of the MTR Challenge. The first line was the Ma On Shan Line.

Start the journey »



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