R.I.P. Mike Hall

Mike Hall was killed in a road traffic accident while competing in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a non-stop, unsupported bike race from Perth to Sydney on the 31st March. The ultra-distance community has lost one of its most influential member ever.

Mike was one of the greatest athletes you've probably never heard of. Winner of the first World Cycle Race, The Tour Divide twice and the first Trans Am bike Race and holds the unofficial (I think it wasn't ratified) record for circumnavigating the globe by bicycle.

Mike was also the founder of the Transcontinental Race, an unsupported, non-stop race across Europe where competitors must plot their own routes between check-points. Mike did more than just found a race, he built a community of racers, riders, supporters and friends who revel in the excitement these events create. Never has watching dots on a screen and scouring Twitter, Instagram and Facebook been so rewarding.

To many, including myself, this is the purest form of bicycle racing that exists. Gone are the race radios and team orders, no arguments can be had about people being dragged to the line only to fight it for a couple of hundred metres in a watt-tastic frenzy. There is no "wheel-sucking", there are no mountain trains, there are no spare wheels, bikes or hordes of mechanics, Soigneurs or DSs guiding and assisting. It's a rider, their bike and whatever they decide to take with them. These races echo the past, channel the spirit of those heroes who first conquered the mountain passes we now see record times over and wonder if it's all real and these races are open to all who have the nerve to enter and compete. They are inclusive and friendly with a community that will support, encourage and help as much as they can, to the point where one TCR entrant who set up a fundraising page will be able to compete due to the generosity of this group of like-minded individuals.

He inspired so many people, including myself, to push themselves past the limits they felt possible and achieve goals they believed were beyond them. His story will continue to do this for a very long time to come.

But more than all this, at least to me, Mike was a cyclist. A man who loved riding his bike and sharing that with others. This is what brings us all together. Cycling is an immensely diverse sport with a huge range of disciplines and events. Passions can get heated, supporters can argue and fight and riders can complain about riders to the point where we forget that the reason we are arguing is because we all share that same, simple love for the bicycle. Mike epitomises that for me, a fierce competitor who could put the worlds best to the sword and a man who dedicated himself to creating something that so many people enjoy and feel a part of.

R.I.P. Mike, my thoughts are with your family, friends and the global community who are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.
 
Heartbreaking news. It has been bizarrely, yet giddily exciting, watching the dot duel between Mike and Kristof Allegaert this week. Where I woke up to expect to see an exciting finale, I found only a sad loss. #BeMoreMike
 
Thanks folks, I'll happily admit I wrote that with a huge lump in my throat. Having never met the man I'm surprised how affected I feel by this. A true testament to the community he created is the fact that the donations page has had the amount being aimed for raised twice, after 10k and 20k were passed in a matter of hours.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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I knew next to nothing about the race or the riders involved. However the challenge it entailed made me respect the hell out of everyone daring enough to take it on. As people have mentioned, seeing Kristof and Mike duke it out at a distance like that, even with no pictures, was engrossing stuff and is just unbelievable. Such a challenge and such a level of dedication that it must take. To think that just two days ago I was wondering what Mike was doing a little off-course and now he's gone just like that. It's heavy. RIP Mike.
 

Irondan

Moderator
Re: Re:

RedheadDane said:
Irondan said:
RedheadDane said:
R.I.P :cry:

After last year I'd hoped we'd avoid tragedies this year, looks like I was wrong...
What happened last year?
Demoitie, Myngheer, Verdick, Fabre, Watters...
I'd just hoped cycling could avoid deaths this year...
Ahhh, okay. Thanks for the explanation.

Unfortunately, this race was completely unsupported/self supported through the entire length of the race with the organizers spread out from one end of Australia to the other, leaving the riders often times alone to ride as we do along with vehicular traffic on the race route.
 
Feb 23, 2014
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Beautifully written King Boonen. Said what a lot of us are thinking. Thinking of him and his family.....
 
Love the idea on Twitter that we should find out the time of the memorial ride in Sydney, and all get out on our bikes at that time, with whatever cycling companions we can muster.

I guess it could be simultaneous with it, or at the equivalent hour in our own time zones.

I hadn't heard of him two weeks ago, but he has inspired me to promote a hashtag for the first time ever: #rideformike
 
Oct 10, 2015
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Well said KB. Thank you for such a well written post in what are terribly sad circumstances, Mike was a cracking guy and if people look for inspiration in cycling then they should look to people like him.
 

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