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Ultracycling legend Mike Hall is taking his last ever ride – follow his ‘dot’ through online tracker

Ashes of rider killed in March are being taken by bike from Harrogate to Mid-Wales – and ride is being tracked online


When the ‘dot’ marking Mike Hall’s progress during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race in Australia in late March stopped moving, the feeling among those watching the race was one of disappointment rather than alarm.

The previous 24 hours or so had seen the Yorkshireman locked in battle with his friend and rival Kristof Allegaert as the pair swapped the lead, each vying to be the first to cross the finish line at Sydney Opera House after almost a fortnight of hard racing across the continent.

Most assumed that he had stopped for a rest – indeed, on the race’s Facebook page, many had wondered that day just how far he could push himself without taking a break. It was clear that he would have to stop sometime soon.

Even when, after a longer than usual break, the dot on the map stubbornly refused to move, there were rational explanations – a problem with the GPS tracking system or the website charting the riders’ locations, a spent battery.

Another possible reason was one that, if it occurred at all, was quickly pushed to the back of the mind.

Then, late in the evening of Thursday 30 March UK time, reports started coming in of a cyclist killed in a collision with a car on the route of the race. The location matched the last one Hall had been tracked at.

People put two and two together and this time, heartbreakingly, four was the correct answer. Confirmation that he had lost his life near Canberra early on the morning of Friday 31 March soon followed.

Mike Hall did more than anyone else to establish ‘dot-watching’ as a pursuit among followers of ultracycling.

Twice a winner of the Tour Divide and also triumphant in another US event, the TransAm race, the 35-year-old also won perhaps the ultimate test for ultra-marathon cyclists – the World Cycle Race.

But the 35-year-old also founded and organised the Transcontinental Race, the fifth edition of which was recently confirmed as going ahead this summer, despite his death.

> Transcontinental Race to go ahead, Mike Hall to take his final rid ahead of celebration of his life 

Unlike the Race Across America (RAAM), all those races – as well as the Indian Wheel Pacific Race – are unsupported.

So, with no crew to post social media updates, and the riders focusing on racing, and without the dozens of checkpoints that RAAM uses, the way to follow the racing was by tracking the ‘dots’ representing individual riders through whichever tracking website the race in question used.

And few riders’ dots ever got watched as attentively, and by so many people, as Mike's did.

Right now, Mike is taking his last ever ride as friends escort his ashes from his birthplace of Harrogate to the village of Abbeycwmhir in Mid-Wales, where he lived with his partner, Anna.

Fittingly, the ride has been put on and although there are several people on the ride, there’s only one dot – Mike’s.

At the time of writing, they are at Cragg Vale heading towards Rochdale, and you can follow their progress here.

If you happen to be on the route as they pass and want to hop on your bike to pay your own tribute to Mike as he takes his final ride, you will be more than welcome.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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David Arthur @d... | 7 years ago

Yup, as dinosaurJR says, they're currently in McDonald's having lunch. Here's the proof

CygnusX1 | 7 years ago

Strange how much emotional attachment you can have with a dot on a map. Seeing #MikesLastDot had me welling up. Enjoy the ride, Mike.

David Arthur @d... | 7 years ago

Here's another photo as they make their way through the Peak District this morning

David Arthur @d... | 7 years ago

A quick photo update from the crew, they're currently in Glossop and making good progress by the sounds of it. 

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