You might remember this guy from a post I did 3 months ago. Mike, part of a group of cyclists who left together from London in February, has arrived back in London the undisputed heavyweight champion of round-the-world cyclists.
I knew this guy had the goods because the day I had meant to go out and meet him on the road he blasted by here while I was sleeping – on a 400km day! He finished the nearly 30,000km journey in 92 days, which works out to over 300km of riding every single day. Think about that for a moment…it’s really something.
Here’s an article in the Guardian done a couple of days ago.
Congratulations, Mike! And next time you ride by, I’ll be better prepared and chase you down in the car!
15 thoughts on “Mike Hall – World Cycle Race Champion”
He’s an amazing athlete. Talk about determination and endurance!
I agree. He had a fixed plan and stuck to it as much as he could, it seems. Dude must have some massive discipline.
Thanks for following up on this story, Gerry. I found Mike’s comments on America to be interesting. Most foreigners I meet (except for those from Canada and Mexico) have a hard time grasping the scale of the place, even after they have studied a map. I also agree McDonalds is the way to go for world-class fast food (with an emphasis on “fast”). I don’t fully understand why he found it difficult to get food elsewhere in a timely manner. It is my experience that American dining is far faster than that on the Continent.
I had the same thoughts as you, Steve. You’d think a diner or family restaurant would be quick, but maybe our fast and his fast are different? I still get amazed at the size of our countries when I cycle them and I’m sure that after living in France it’ll be even more of a shock when I do a trip back home. It’s definitely a mental thing for me because I sometimes set myself little goals when I’m travelling by bike. When the next town is 50 miles away it takes some determination!
Massive discipline and thighs like tugboats…..
Yes, that too…
Great you posted this follow-up and thanks for including the Guardian link, that was a good report, which I never would have seen otherwise. People, well some people, do the most incredible, astonishing things… helps to inspire the likes of me.
I agree. Reading that article motivated me to stop whining about the 100km I had to do yesterday afternoon. Mike probably did that kind of distance before breakfast…
P.S. You inspired me to google Mike, and I found this quote from him in an NPR story. It strikes me as a good general rule.
” ….It was quite difficult and I think it builds up – the stress,’ he said. ‘So I kind of released all that in the last few days. Now I just feel pretty calm.
“‘There’s been some moments, some kind of breakdowns, but I keep the breakdowns on the bike, I don’t stop for those.’
That ‘s one I’ll remember…call them breakdowns, meltdowns, whatever, keep them on the bike!
Gerry – thanks for this follow-up. One word describes this kind of accomplishment….Amazing.
I’m sure I could think of other adjectives (insane comes to mind), but yeah, the more I think about it, the more amazing it becomes. He says he slept only 4 or 5 hours a night so that he could get his riding in. Wow.
I’m still struggling to believe how this could be possible, to be honest. I mean, I don’t think it’s a lie, but wow – every time I try to imagine averaging 300km per day – every day – through some of the terrain and road conditions he must have met, the headwinds, rain & temps… Absolutely incredible. I can’t even figure how he’d stay hydrated, traveling so light, and obviously without stopping for long. Truly an inhumanly amazing achievement.
Having said that, I doubt it would be the most fulfilling way of cycling around the globe – call me lazy, but I’d much rather see the sights, taste the food, and meet the people of all the countries I’d be traveling through on such a journey. In my own experience, the most memorable and enjoyable days were all under 100km…
You’d know better than most, Mr. Tennant, having ridden through much of what Mike did. I think you hit it on the head, too – and Mike can tell me if I’m wrong – this was a race and not ‘traveling’. I know from these past two seasons of tough training that you really don’t see much when you’re going fast and hard. It takes something away from cycling, but gives you something else in return…for me at least. My guess is that he was the one who had it in his head that he was not out there to ‘enjoy’ the trip, and that’s why he won! They were all tracked by GPS, by the way. Very cool to see how much damage this dude was putting in compared to the rest. Really, really amazing.
Yes, fair point – it was a race, of course – so the goal was not to ‘see the sights’, but to ‘see the finish line’ as quickly as possible, and I completely respect that. I’m sure he could always re-trace his route (or choose a more scenic one) at a more leisurely pace in the future, if he so desires. But seriously, this guy must be one of the toughest creatures on earth – his physical and mental endurance, on top of sleep deprivation, is truly inhuman (or super-human) if you ask me… I’ll bet he slept *very* well on the flights though!
Things are so relative, aren’t they? For some, simply doing a multi-day cycling trip would be an incredible adventure, if not something considered completely impossible. Then a guy who rides around the world in 92 days. Quite the gap.