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europa 10-19-18 06:26 PM

Inquest into Mike Hall's death

Below is a link to Cycle magazine's report of the Inquest into Mike Hall's death. Be warned that it's fairly graphic reading and one likely to make you angry.

I've taken the link from the Indian Pacific Wheel Ride (dot watchers) facebook page where Cycle posted the link along with the following requests:

With the love and respect to all those affected by the loss of Mike Hall on the 31st of March 2017. We have prepared the following summary of the #mikehallinquest.
We ask only four things:
- if you are sensitive in anyway, read this with a friend or seek help if you are upset after reading this, it has some shocking imagery included
- if you are from media, contact Cycle before using this information, we hold the only complete copy of notes taken at the inquest until January
- if you share this on Social Media, please use the hashtag #mikehallinquest
- if you ride a bike, please join Cycle and help us fight for better situations for all riders... Follow and like our page or follow us on Twitter (@AusCycle)…/174-in-the-interest-of-justice-mikeh…

In reading this, please remember that Australia drives on the left hand side of the road and drivers sit in the right seat of the car, if you're used to the reverse (such in North America), you may find the references to left and right a little odd.

Cycle have a series of articles covering each day of the inquest if you want to read further.

Rowan 10-20-18 01:45 AM

Reading the Cycle link gutted me. I can only hope justice is achieved, but deeply I have doubt from what I read.

europa 10-20-18 02:23 AM

I've read their reports every day and I don't know what to be more angry about, the lousy policework or the magistrate's refusal to criticise their handling of the case. It's very hard not to be cynical sometimes.

Happy Feet 10-25-18 10:01 AM

I read the article and had a similar gut reaction but after thinking for a while feel, in some ways, justice can't be served (if that's the correct word even) via the conventional route. The fact is Mike is dead. Nothing done to the driver (civil litigation for compensation aside) will fix that. While we have Cycling's side of the report we also really don't know what the drivers whole story is or how this has affected them.

"Punishing" the driver won't really change behavior I feel, as other people tend to find the differences (however small) between them and the object of the story in order to say "I'm not like that" or "That wouldn't happen to me".

What I think would be powerful, if a documentary filmmaker could do it, would be to follow the driver for a year or two and show without judgement what effects killing a cyclist, even accidentally, has on their life. It could be interspersed with clips of Mike's life to show the extent of loss to a family and community that is connected to those actions. Humanizing both parties and being non judgemental would help to lower the guard of those who tend to see things in us vs them thinking (cars vs Bikes) and reduce defensive knee jerk distancing that often occurs. That might effect other people down the road and could be a good legacy for Mike. Hit new drivers hard by showing it in Grade 12 classes both as inspiration and precaution. Mike appeared to be such a friendly guy that his persona would be relatable for most, if shown.

The current problem is that most people don't ride bikes and haven't hit someone riding one so they really don't relate personally to the event and want to distance themselves from it. For example, you can bet if a cop on a bicycle had recently been killed by a driver the Police would have been far more aggressive in their handling of the case. If Mike were a national hero to the Aussies there would have been more uproar but, as it is, this was some guy doing something most people don't understand (ultra distance bicycling) who got hit by someone doing something most people can relate to very well (driving to work). what they think is"what would it be like if that happened to me - it's in terms of driving not cycling. miost people would want a second chance or a free pass even.

We protect what is familiar and reject what is different. Hence, forgive the driver and blame the cyclist. It's not stupidity as much as human nature. The key to any sort of long term solution is to humanize both parties to others.

unterhausen 10-26-18 06:14 AM

I think that's why people don't get punished for this unless they are inebriated. Of course, some people are driving around much too fast for their level of attention most the time, and that's depraved indifference to other's safety just as much as driving while impaired.

BikeLite 03-01-19 04:30 PM

ACT Coroner's Report Into Mike Hall Tragedy - Bicycling Australia

Spoonrobot 03-01-19 10:11 PM

I don't think I've ever actually read something like that. Deflating and sad with a lot of things to consider. Also didn't realize the taillight was a Supernova E3. I've ridden with riders using those and I was always surprised at how dim they were in relation to their price and marketing material.

CliffordK 03-02-19 04:40 AM

A great tragedy.

There are several notes about visibility in the reports (although, for some reason clothing wasn't preserved).

Looking at images online, I see rather dark clothing of blues and blacks (reflective or not???)

I thought many ultracycling events required high-vis clothing and vests.

The other issue that popped up is non-blinking rear lights. Almost all generator driven rear lights do not blink.

unterhausen 03-02-19 05:52 AM

I saw a statement from his mother that was enlightening. It was on FB though, so I don't think I can retrieve it.

I am not sure these LD races have requirements for clothing and lighting that, for example, randonneuring events have. It would be a good idea. I think that the combination of a blinking and non-blinking light is the best. I'm a little surprised that he wouldn't have had a blinking light, that seems to be more common.

europa 03-02-19 06:06 AM

Although it's still an unofficial event, I think the recommendation is to use the local Audax rules which mandate high viz jackets in poor light and have things to say about lighting. None of which alters the fact that this is a massive case of victim blaming. If you hit a car in the arse you are 100% in the wrong. These drivers were expecting to see kangaroos which, for all their warm, fuzzy attributes, do not wear high viz or have lights of any sort. Indeed every driver cited in the coroner's report said they saw the cyclist, even if it was rather late, but with enough time to avoid it. This idiot dipped his lights, drove so fast he couldn't see what was within his field of visibility, was (at his own admission) distracted, but somehow it was all Mike Hall's fault... because he was on a pushbike where they didn't expect to see one.

CliffordK 03-02-19 06:45 AM

I'm not saying that getting run over is the cyclist's fault.

Nonetheless, there are methods that a cyclist can use to improve visibility, and thus hopefully decrease the odds of being hit, including high vis clothing, and blinking lights.

My current battery powered rear light lasts several days, and is bright at night. Not the brightest for daylight visibility though. I'm not sure it would last for 10 days, but it could be recharged during the day.

europa 03-02-19 07:05 AM

Clifford, I'd suggest you read the Coroner's report (which essentially blames the rider) and have a look at what Mike Hall was wearing and using. If you still feel defensive, I'm sorry for you. Your comment is also why I'm also rather pissed off with the American response to this event (have a look at the total lack of responses so far). Yes, it DID happen outside of the USA. Yes, he WASN'T an American. Strangely enough, the rest of the world imagines that they are important too.He was also the best ultra-cyclist in the world at the time of the 'accident' and riding using the best available technology at the time. For you to even hint that Mike Hall was less than thorough in his preparations is disgraceful. But hey, it happened so far away and where even kangaroos are roadkill.

unterhausen 03-02-19 08:59 AM

europa, I suggest you track down what Mike Hall's mother said. She decried all the anger she saw.
There are other articles about this if you search for Patricia Hall

Although she is rightfully upset the government has seen fit to blame Mike for his death.

Threads on here about deadly incidents tend to have a number of people that are trying to reassure themselves that this is not going to happen to them. Personally, I realize that I'm out on the road with a batch of people that might as well be playing pinball with their cars. The most terrifying thing for me is a long straight stretch of road with no oncoming cars. That means half the drivers behind me have grabbed their phone and are watching youtube videos.

tyrion 03-02-19 10:53 AM

These are dangerous riding conditions.

The collision occurred at a section of the road where the posted speed limit is 100kph.

The road in the vicinity of the collision site was 3.7 metres wide with verges of between 1.3 and 0.8 metres width. A short distance to the south of the collision site is a disused service station which provided a much wider area of verge. After the disused service station the verge narrows significantly, with less than the 0.8 metres recorded in other parts of the road in the vicinity. The verge at this point is unlikely to be suitable for a cyclist to ride on and cyclists would be forced further to the right at the approximate area of the collision than on other parts of the road.
emphasis mine. Quotes from this report:

ACT Coroner's Report Into Mike Hall Tragedy - Bicycling Australia

Carbonfiberboy 03-02-19 01:10 PM

For my part, I try to be so bright, day and night, that drivers complement me on my visibility. I don't think folks realize that drivers are more afraid of hitting us than we are afraid if being hit. They are the ones who come upon us in difficult situations and have to take action to avoid us. I try as hard as I can to assuage their fear, which mostly consists of being very visible a mile away, day or night.

I have long distance sailor friends whom I helped experiment with man overboard lights. They put the lights on a fence post on an unlit very long straight stretch, at night, turning on one light at a time, then drove a mile away, then 2 miles, and assessed. That was very illuminating (sorry). Most MOB lights did not pass this test though that was many years ago. It's totally worth the time to do that, both daytime and night time.

I don't look on these sorts of things as blame games, rather they are learning opportunities. For instance, I no longer bomb descents with hidden driveways, nor more than I would ski in dangerous avalanche terrain. I understand that some people have a much higher risk tolerance.

CliffordK 03-02-19 02:08 PM

Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy (Post 20819169)
I don't look on these sorts of things as blame games, rather they are learning opportunities. For instance, I no longer bomb descents with hidden driveways, nor more than I would ski in dangerous avalanche terrain. I understand that some people have a much higher risk tolerance.

That is what I like to see... a discussion of what went wrong, and what could have been improved by everyone involved, driver, cyclist, or road engineers.

If you're going to ski in avalanche prone areas, there are special avalanche floats you can carry.

Now, that would be wild riding out an avalanche, but it would be far better to end up on top of the snow than buried down underneath.

unterhausen 03-02-19 09:25 PM

I'm sure Mike Hall was visible from very far away, and the killer has admitted his attention was not fully looking out the windshield as required for driving safely. There is really nothing that you can do to help yourself with a driver like this other than to hope they look up at the right time. The thing that didn't happen that could actually help is to search this guy's phone to see what netflix movie he was watching at the time and throw him in jail for a while as a warning to others.

There continue to be fatal crashes involving Amish buggies on long straightaways. If you can't see an Amish buggy in broad daylight, what chance to any of us have with that same driver?

CliffordK 03-02-19 10:19 PM

I've almost collided with a few cyclists with dim headlights. They just aren't attention grabbing.

Of course, Mike Hall was hit from behind, but reports seem to indicate his taillight was barely adequate.

Yeah, perhaps it technically was visible for 100 yards, but one really needs a light that is bright enough that it can't be missed.

BikeLite 03-09-19 02:06 PM

Salubrious 03-14-19 03:34 PM

Mike Hall was a hero of mine. I met him briefly prior rolling out at the Tour Divide Grand Depart in Banff in 2016. He went on to set a new record for that race and has been memorialized each year since.

During that race, Josh Kato got run off the road by a redneck in a pickup on the Grave Creek road just outside of Eureka Montana. Josh had leg injuries and was forced to scratch in Helena. Since then I have been very circumspect about drivers, even more than before.

In 2017 those of us on the TDR carried a memorial of Mike with us. He's not forgotten- he is missed as one of the greatest riders on the route.

My impression of this is that cops don't care much about cyclists and even less if they aren't from around here even if 'here' is Australia. None of our machinations will bring Mike back. I do wish the cops had been a bit more - competent.

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