Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Husband of road-death cyclist in French mountain ride to honour wife

Lucy Monro died when she was hit by a vehicle during the Dubai Roadsters Coast to Coast cycle challenge in February.
Lucy Monro, who was killed while cycling with a Dubai cycling club, has had a one-off memorial ride established in her name. Courtesy Lucy Monro Memorial Trust.
Lucy Monro, who was killed while cycling with a Dubai cycling club, has had a one-off memorial ride established in her name. Courtesy Lucy Monro Memorial Trust.

DUBAI // It was a tragedy that put cycling safety back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in February.

British magazine publisher Lucy Monro was a keen and dedicated cyclist who loved nothing more then escaping on to the roads of the UAE on her bike, accompanied by her husband Allan Greenfield.

On February 13, she was hit from behind by two motorcycles during the Dubai Roadsters Coast to Coast cycle challenge, a Unicef fundraiser. She died aged 50.

It was an accident with consequences that rocked Dubai’s tight-knit cycling community.

Team SWR (Swiss Watch Report), the cycling team she had founded two years earlier, considered disbanding. Instead, its members rebranded as Team LMT (Lucy Monro Trust) in honour of her.

A foundation was established in Monro’s name to help deserving causes in the UAE and elsewhere.

A one-off memorial ride was established, which got under way in France on Tuesday.

The Lucy’s Cent Cols ride challenges cyclists to climb 100 mountain passes in 10 days.

Mr Greenfield called it a huge challenge.

“We are covering 65 per cent of the distance and 100 per cent of the cumulative climbing of a Tour de France – but in less than half the time,” he said.

“By any measure, it’s a truly daunting task. It’s also late in the year for this sort of thing. The weather will almost certainly be mixed and the daylight hours will be short.”

Team LMT consists of amateur riders with families and commitments.

Each will attempt to cycle the entire route and all 100 mountains.

The 11-man team is being led by Mr Greenfield and includes Guy Townsend, Monro’s brother.

Mr Townsend said his sister had a habit of giving everything a nickname.

“Lucy called her bike Buster and he was, without doubt, her pride and joy,” he said.

“Buster lived on a stand in the lounge next to Allan’s BMC, until the awful events of February.

“A few months later a plan was conceived to build a replica of Lucy’s bike and to refill that empty stand. They wondered about the possibility of customising the bike and adding Lucy’s name and logos to it.”

Bike manufacturer Trek USA embraced the idea and worked to create a replica of Buster, complete with bespoke paint job to ensure it was as similar to the original as possible.

Mr Greenfield added Monro’s name, a British flag and an elephant, designed following her victory in last year’s World Elephant Polo Championships.

The rainbow colours were her nod towards cycling’s world championships.

Mr Greenfield added his personal message to himself on the frame: “Lucy’s Cent Cols: All or Nothing”.

Besides providing the team with a fitting memorial to the cycling part of Monro’s life, they have a second purpose, to raise funds for the small, benevolent charity founded in her name.

Her job as a magazine editor and publisher centred on equestrian writing and photography.

Those skills brought her into contact with people and animals in need of help in humanitarian and charitable efforts concerning animal welfare, education and humanitarian aid.

Former colleague Imogen Lillywhite said the ride was a suitable tribute.

“Lucy really helped me to settle in and made me feel welcome,” she said.

“I finished working for her when she was first really getting into cycling but I could see she threw herself into it the same way she did everything – with passion, commitment and at top speed.”

The trust aims to raise funds and assist small, grassroots causes and charities in those three areas through grants.

The Lucy’s Cent Cols challenge is due to finish next Friday.

To find out more about the trust, visit www.lmmt.org.

nwebster@thenational.ae

Updated: October 2, 2015 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE