Ian Hibell Passes Away

My mother was good enough to save a recent article in The Economist (the issue of 13 September 08) about long-distance cyclist Ian Hibell, who passed away last month. Hibell was the first man to cycle Panama's Darian Gap, spanned both Americas, and followed the Pacific from Bangkok to Vladivostok. In all, the article notes, Hibell rode the equivalent of ten times round the equator.

He wrote a book, Into the Remote Places (1984), which now seems to be out of print. The Economist, quoting from his book, wrote:
[Hibell] described his bike as a companion, a crutch and a friend. Setting off in the morning light with the "quiet hum of the wheels, the creak of strap against load, the clink of something in the pannier", was "delicious". And more than that. Mr. Hibell was a short, sinewy man, not particularly swift on his feet. But on a good smooth downhill run, the wind in his face, the landscape pelting past, he felt "oneness with everything", like "a god almost".
I don't have much more than that, except to note that it was only motorists that did him real damage in his travels. In my own much smaller circuits, that's a sobering thought.


Popular Posts