People from all over the world were impressed by Mike, by his cycling prowess no doubt but also by his attitude and approach to ultra cycling races and life in general. He was a considered and philosophical individual who felt passionately about an individual's right to autonomy and the powerful, positive impact of adventure and self discovery. Mike was also passionate about travelling by bicycle, using the bike as a primary means of transport no matter how far you wish to travel. He demonstrated throughout the last few years of his life that no matter where you want to go, to work, to the shops, across a continent; you can do it by bike. Having experienced the positive impact self supported adventure had on his own life he wanted to share it with others.
Mike Hall was a Yorkshireman who had settled in Wales and made it his home. He started racing mountain bikes as a teenager but became more serious in 2009 when he started competing in 24 hour mountain bike races. His first ultra-distance self-supported race was the Tour Divide in 2011; he then won a major ultra-distance event in four of the next five years. In 2012, he won the inaugural World Cycle Race, in 2013 and 2016 he won the Tour Divide, in 2014 he won the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race and featured in Inspired to Ride, a film directed by Mike Dion.
Mike died on 31 March 2017 after being struck by a car, just before dawn, on the Monaro Highway on the outskirts of Canberra during the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race across Australia. At the time he was placed second in the race and had covered 5,024km of the 5500 km race.
“Mike was an extremely competent and experienced cyclist, ultra-distance competitor and adventurer. He was a highly intelligent, judicious and considerate person. He had a logical engineer's way of approaching everything as a problem to solve and he rarely undertook any action without considering all the consequences in advance. His vast amount of experience stood him in good stead for most of the issues he might encounter on the road. Out on the road Mike was in his element. He knew exactly what he was doing, what the job was he needed to do and how to achieve it.”
“I also raced in the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race in 2017, and saw Mike at the starting line in Perth. He wished me luck. “Have a good ride”, he said, and to Mike that meant not only racing, but enjoying the challenge against yourself, your mind and your body, as well as the freedom of the road and what that means to those of us who ride long distances. I have raced with Mike and watched Mike race. Of all the ultra cyclists and bikepackers I know, Mike was the most prepared, experienced and aware, secure in his ability to face anything the road threw at him. I learned everything I know from him. His death shattered and destabilised me, because of all the racers in our small community, he was the last I would ever have guessed would be taken in a road accident. He was a beacon to us all and his light will never go out.”