It is a real shame you said goodbye so quickly. We only met a few times, but there are only a few people that have inspired me as much as you have. I was shocked when I read the news on Friday.
I will remember you as one of the kindest human beings I met. Not only in the cycling world. In fact we never talked about cycling when we met. I followed your exploits closely and drew great inspiration from your cycling achievements. I am so glad I met you in person at least a few times, and now I am even more gutted that I couldn’t accept your invitation last October to share more stories.
You were the person who had time for a quick chat riding a lap at Strathpuffer. Even on the most difficult bit of the trail you’d drop your pace to say a friendly ‘How are you?’ and have a brief chat. You cared much more about people than you did about the cycling. You were that one that came to say hello a the starting line. I still remember our brief chat in Aviemore on the way back. I wish it wouldn’t have been the last, but unfortunately it was.
When I read the news on Friday morning I simply couldn’t believe it. But I remember you as a humble human being. As the friendly guy at Eurobike, a glass of single malt in one hand, a rollie in the other. ‘Altitude training’ in your words. I remember staring at your chain at Newton Bike Shop, taken great inspiration from your efforts to beat the odds in Kansas. Everyone I met had only great things to say about you, and I am no different.
A nice guy. You were just that for me. I am glad I met you. You have inspired me to ride around the world, and I would have loved to share a chat at the starting line with you some day. And while this opportunity has gone, you’ve inspired me and thousands others. All we can do now is make sure your spirit lives on.
I can’t remotely imagine the pain Anna and your mum are going through. People that have shared much more than just a few brief moments with you. You were ripped out of their lives, with no warning. No words can express the sadness they must feel.
As much as I was shocked about the news, I did what you did best in the world. I rode my bike, planning new trails to inspire more people to take up bikepacking. I cycled 80 rough kilometres, got stuck in mud puddles. And I did more of the same the next days.
That Mike, is your legacy. You were ‘an extraordinary man who changed lives and redefined the sport. Thank you for everything you were and everything you did. We will miss you.’ I used Apidura’s words, as I simply couldn’t have put it better.
Rest in peace, Mike. Ride in heaven. For as long as you like.