There’s an inescapable sadness pervading Cardiff By Bike HQ today. This morning we learned that ultra-endurance legend Mike Hall had lost his life competing in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race.
Mike was known to a few of us here in Cardiff, particularly those who got to ride an Audax or two with him, or even Mike’s own Valleycat events. Those of you on Strava will have no doubt seen his name pop up on various segments around Cardiff, as he was based not far from here in Usk for a number of years and rode around the streets of Cardiff from time to time.
He will also have been known to many who watched the excellent Inspired to Ride, based around the Trans-Am Bike Race –one that he aced in 2014. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, please do.
The Tran-Am Bike Race is an unsupported ride across the USA, along the Trans-America Trail. Just like Ride the Divide, this is another story of endurance, determination and jaw-dropping scenery. It’s full of likeable characters, including one living here in South Wales, Mike Hall.
He had also competed in the Tour Divide mountain bike race, which he aced in 2013 and 2016. Let us also not forget that he aced the World Cycle Race too, circling the globe on a bicycle in 91 days and 18 hours.
When he wasn’t competing he was organising the Transcontinental Bike Race, a self-supported race across continental Europe that in 2016 was 3,800km in distance with 45,000 metres of climbing.
He was an inspiration to many of us, but to those who knew him say he was a genuinely kind, brave and down-to-earth man who will be greatly missed.
A page has been set up on Just Giving, raising money for Mike’s mum to cover the costs of bringing him home and laying him to rest.
The money raised will go to Mike’s mum, Patricia, to cover any costs. Any money raised beyond her costs will be for her to decide the right cause. So please donate generously.
Mike was someone I’d love to have met. I’m just scratching the surface of distance cycling but Mike represented all that was great and good about the sport. He always came across on camera as such a genuine character with none of the arrogance and bravado you would expect for someone who had achieved, but was capable of achieving so much more. I’m sad that we will never get the chance to see what else he could do.
Mike died doing something he loved, but at 35 he would have had so much more to give were it not for this tragic incident. I hope we can all take inspiration from the fact that life is fleeting and none of us can be sure what is around the corner. Let’s make the best of it.
Rest in peace, Mike.