Over £70,000 has been raised to support the family of Harrogate’s endurance cycling ‘legend’, who was killed in an Australian road race.
Mike Hall, 35, had been in second place in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR) when he was struck by a car.
People across the world took to social media to pay tribute to Mike and now a Just Giving page set up by well-known endurance rider, James Hayden, has attracted nearly £75,000 to help meet any costs for his family.
Fellow cyclist and longstanding friend of Mike, Guy Kevesten, said: “That is what has overwhelmed all of us. Just the response, just how much he meant to so many people.
“I’ve known him since he was 15, he’d come round for advice on how to build a bike. He was designing a downhill racing bike and he was well ahead of a lot of major companies at the time.
“He had a brilliant mind and he was just enthusiastic about riding and encouraging people to ride.
“Mike was incredibly humble I think that’s the one thing everyone will tell you, he was just such a nice bloke.”
In 2012 Mike became a world-record holder when he cycled the globe in just 91 days, and even founded the Transcontinental cycle race in Europe.
Mr Kevesten said: “He’s always been an epic adventurer. He did the Rickshaw Run across India in 2004 but he just quietly did it. It’s just another in a string of adventures Mike did.
“He’s kind of a pied piper of cycling, he was such a humble, approachable, down to earth guy - even when he won the around the world race in 2012 he was flabbergasted that people were waiting for him at the finish line, never-mind national TV crews.
“You would never know if you bumped into Mike what he had achieved and what he meant to people and that’s a rare thing these days.
“It’s almost hard to achieve what he did without becoming so exposed, he was a legend and he was an icon but he was just himself, he was no different.”
Born and raised in Harrogate, but having recently moved to Wales, Mike would often go out for a ride with Guy and their mutual friend, Dave Burns.
Mr Burns said: “He was just an absolute machine, we would go up a hill and he wouldn’t even get out the saddle or change gear once.
“He was a bit crazy, he was a mad fool, but you have to be to do the things he did on the bike. He was just a really nice funny guy and an absolutely phenomenal athlete.”
Taylors of Harrogate also paid their respects to Mr Hall after he was one of many Yorkshire folk to star in Yorkshire Tea’s ‘Brewtopia’ advert in 2015.
The IPWR said the incident had taken place on the Monaro Highway at Royolla in New South Wales, just outside Canberra.
Racing from Perth to Sydney, the IPWR map tracker shows Mike had just 447 km of the 5,471 km race left to cover.
Mr Kevesten said he hoped the tragic circumstances would encourage every motorist to be thoughtful and considerate of cyclists on the roads.
He said: “Be inspired, be safe and be thoughtful, I think they are the things Mike would want us to take from this. Let’s not have to write another piece like this about someone else.”