31. March 2017 Information 0
I’ve been going back and forth all day today trying to figure out if I wanted to share a reflection of Mike Hall’s death during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in Australia after he was hit by a car. While details surrounding this tragedy are still unknown, the entire cycling community has shown tremendous support and sharing their stories about Mike Hall and what he did for them, even if they had never met.
In today’s society, social media has allowed us the opportunity to be able to follow people from all over the world from our phones and computers. Even if it’s through a screen, our horizons have been expanded in ways that we could have never imagined. In the cycling community, it has allowed us to see and experience rides that we might never be able to do. It has given us the opportunity to interact with fellow cyclists even if they are thousands of miles away and even develop friendships.
Earlier this year I watched Inspired to Ride, a documentary that followed 45 cyclists from all over the world in their quest to ride the TransAmerica Trail, spanning the width of the United States in a 4,233 mile journey. One of the riders was Mike Hall, a funny, calm and incredible cyclist. Considered a legend and one of the best ultra-cyclists in the world, he was responsible for more than just riding long distances. He organized many ultra-distance rides, always pushing himself and mentoring others. He also created Newborns Vietnam, a charity that worked on improving the access to quality newborn care in the poorest rural areas in Vietnam.
Every year, hundreds of cyclists die and many more are injured as a result of careless drivers. On a daily basis, there’s at least a new post on Facebook about a cyclist being hit by a car. As cyclists, we are aware of the risks that we face everytime we hit the road, assuming that those behind the wheel will give us the respect that we deserve as another human being sharing the road with them, even if we are more vulnerable. We take a lot of things for granted, and sometimes tragedies like this one show us that even the legends face some of the issues we face. At the same time, we can’t let this stop us from the sport that we love.
While I just heard about Mike Hall for the first time this year, his drive and motivation as well as what riding his bike did for him, served as an inspiration for many of us. So next time that you go for a ride, cherish it and dedicate it to Mike, because that’s the least that we can do for someone who has truly INSPIRED thousands of people to continue riding.
For the cycling community, today is a very sad day.
Rest In Peace Mike.