Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 11:48 UK

Tributes to a cycling adventurer

Ian Hibell: Pic Nicholas Henderson
The 74-year-old has been described as a modern Marco Polo

Tributes have been paid to a pioneer of adventure cycling who has died after a road accident in Greece.

Ian Hibell, 74, from Brixham, Devon, rode to some of the world's remotest spots including the Antarctic.

The UK Cyclists' Touring Club said the journeys he made had been "groundbreaking".

Mr Hibell encountered a number of adventures on his trips including being chased by rogue elephants and attacked by tropical ants.

A spokesman from the UK Cyclists Touring Club said: "He was groundbreaking in what he he did, and the places he went to so many years ago."

Mr Hibell died after a crash on the Athens to Salonika road in August. He had been on a cycling trip to Greece.

Nicholas Henderson, a fellow cyclist from Wales, described Mr Hibell as his "friend and hero" and said he was a modern Marco Polo.

He was a hero to us, these days they would make a TV series about him

Graham Brodie

He lived to travel - and that travel had to be on a bike, Mr Henderson told BBC News.

"Ian had an incurable desire to see the world and there were only a handful of countries that he hadn't visited.

"He met his death at the end of what he called a 'training run' having set off from Hull and cycling through Europe to Greece.

"To most of us this world have been a marathon cycle ride but to someone who has cycled from Norway to South Africa and from Argentina to Alaska this was just like a ride in the park.

"Ian had shown no signs of slowing up - he could easily pedal his loaded bicycle 80 miles in a day."

Cycling 'pioneer'

Mr Hibell wrote two books about his cycling adventures.

Into the Remote Places, was co-written with Clinton Trowbridge in 1984 and is considered as a "cult classic" among the worldwide cycling fraternity, Mr Henderson said.

He had just finished his second book - Four Days at Ragged Point - when he died.

Devon cyclist Graham Brodie, who had known Mr Hibell for 30 years, said: "It is probably the way he would have liked to go - on his bike.

"He was a bit of a pioneer and made cycling his life.

"He was a hero to us, these days they would make a TV series about him."

Mr Brodie said Mr Hibell was working at a communications firm in Paignton when he started going on cycling trips and decided to leave his job and "never went back".

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