Remembering Mike Hall
We’re incredibly sad to announce that Mike Hall, a hero, inspiration and legend in the bikepacking community passed early this morning in Australia. Here are few words by several people who knew and loved Mike ….
35 year old Mike Hall was a pillar of the bikepacking community and died in a tragic accident during the morning hours of day 13 in the inaugural running of the 3400 mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Mike was arguably the best ultra-distance cyclist in the world, known for breaking the world circumnavigation record during the 2012 World Cycle Race with an incredible 91 day finish, and setting the current record for the Tour Divide in 2016 with a time of 13 days, 22 hours, and 51 minutes. Mike also founded the Transcontinental Race and has organized it year over year since 2013.
The hearts and thoughts of the bikepacking community go out to Mike’s friends and family; scroll to the bottom to see how you can help. Here are some thoughts from a few people who had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Mike:
Anthony Pease: When you wake up to a phone full of messages and keep seeing the name Mike, you start to think he’s only gone and done the impossible. The thing is for Mike, nothing was impossible! He took the impossible and hung it off the back of his bike whilst turning his dreams in to a reality. We all sit back and say we can do something but he was one of the ones that actually did.
A few weeks ago, we laughed and joked as I took photos of him in the Abergwesyn valley. A place that holds a lot of memories for me throughout the years. We sat in my van talking about this race and he joked about dot watchers. I explained how for many of us it was a way to become part of their journey. Friends and family immersed themselves in social media and dot watching, I was keen to mention how I was as bad as the rest.
Just before I put my son to bed I saw his dot had stopped, I hoped he was just having one last nap before the end. My heart has sunk and we have all lost a legend.
Mike was an inspiration, a gent and one hell of a racer. Rest in peace buddy with the wind on your tail.
Mike Dion: I am lucky to have so many images of Mike Hall. I’ve been looking at them over that past few hours after learning about his death… My feelings have been a roller coaster ride of immense sadness, intense anger and much gratitude. I am so grateful I can call Mike a friend. I am so grateful I was able to spend a decent amount of time talking with him, filming him and learning from him… Learning about kindness. Learning about the art of being humble. Learning about being a bad-ass… No doubt, Mike is going to be missed. But the beautiful thing is – we all have our fond memories of Mike whether we got to actually hang out with him or not… We sat riveted watching his dot move across our computer screen cheering for him even though we were hundreds or thousands of miles away. We got to see him inspire many in documentary films. We read about his record-breaking adventures in magazines and online articles… Mike may no longer be here with us physically but he will never be far away in our hearts and our thoughts. My condolences go out to Mike’s mother and family – to his beloved Anna – and to all of us who looked up to him as someone that almost seemed immortal… Thank you, Mike for showing us how to be truly great human beings…
Ian Fitz: It’s always a shock when one of us goes early. Especially when it’s someone you always assumed was actually super-human and therefore immune from all this. What Mike achieved is well known in terms of the awe-inspiring rides, the course records, the long rides, day after day giving his all. But that is only a small part of his legacy, through his words and actions he’s helped to build a community, a family even, he’s inspired more people than he will ever know to push themselves not only over one more hill, but far beyond what they thought capable of.
In person Mike was humble, a quiet man who would leave you feeling that your ride, your story was every bit as important as his. He did this like he rode bikes; intuitively and effortlessly.
I remember an evening in a Pub in Hebden Bridge after a Mountain bike film premier last year. He’d ridden up from Mid Wales and had arranged to meet his Mum Patricia as she lives in the next valley. I got to buy him a beer and listen to him talk about his ride down the divide (13:22:51) while Patricia sat and listened proudly, rolling her eyes slightly at his understated tales of just how hard he’d pushed himself. There was no bravado, no boasting; just joy and satisfaction in his words.
Paul Errington: You were the inspiration behind so many people riding bikes. You constantly redefined what we all thought was possible. Always hugely positive and enthusiastic. You are truly irreplaceable. Gonna miss you Mike. So sad.
Tori Fahey: Mike devoted his life to the sport. It ran through his veins. Little more than a year ago, he took the leap to make this sport his livelihood; leaving his traditional career to dedicate his full attention to the sport and the community that he loved. Most know him for his achievements in ultradistance racing; winner of the World Cycle Race 2012, two time winner of the Tour Divide (2013, 2016), winner of the TransAm Bike Race (2014). He earned a reputation as an honest and fierce competitor. But he didn’t just win races, his influence on the sport of self-supported ultradistance cycling runs deep. He conceived of and organized the Transcontinental Bike Race, which has run since 2013 and which reshaped the blueprint for self-supported events. His efforts as a racer and organizer captured the imagination of cycling enthusiasts around the globe and spawned a proliferation of self-supported, ultra-distance events. The depth of respect and gratitude the he earned as an athlete, role model, friend, competitor and leader is immeasurable. Mike was a remarkable man an he will be deeply missed.
Lee Craigie: In his understated, generous way, Mike simultaneously inspired and encouraged everyone he came into contact with to feel capable of more. Despite his incredible achievements, he never put himself on a pedestal but instead always seemed happy to help others explore their ambitions by sharing his hard won lessons. He took things to extremes with infectious enthusiasm from whisky drinking to bike riding! That’s how I’ll remember him and those memories will continue to inspire and encourage me both on and off my bike. My thoughts are with the people who loved him the most.
Chris Cocalis (and Pivot Cycles): All of us at Pivot Cycles are deeply saddened by the death of our friend, Mike Hall. Mike inspired us and we followed his riding with the pride and excitement that comes from seeing a friend achieve great things. It was truly an honor to know him. We will always cherish the opportunities and time that we’ve gotten to spend with Mike during his visits to Pivot. Our hearts go out to his family and friends, he will be sorely missed by all of us.
So what do we do now? Send our love and condolences to his family and loved ones, Patricia and Anna. Visit this page justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Mikehall so they can do what they need to right now. And then hop on a bike and turn some pedals for a while.
We are lucky to have had Mike in our world and although his passing is devastating he has left us so much. Thanks Mike.