Claudia Comberti – message of sympathy and tribute


*** A message of sympathy and tribute: Claudia Comberti ***

The tragedy that has befallen Claudia as she was cycling on the Botley Road on Tuesday has devastated members of Cyclox. As its Chair, I write to offer on behalf of our members our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to everyone at Broken Spoke. Although Claudia was not a Cyclox member, she was obviously an active and enthusiastic participant with you and especially with Team Beryl. The pictures of all of you in the local news yesterday vividly showed the spontaneous upwelling of your feelings and your wish to pay tribute to her and to the friendships she formed with you. That was just the right thing to do.

When a young life is lost, especially so abruptly, we feel so much more keenly our sense of deprivation of what was potentially yet to come. Her stellar academic career was clearly brim full of promise – first at Jesus College, Cambridge, then in her MSc here in which she gained a Distinction, and over the last few years for her doctorate on the consequences of climate and other environmental change on the peoples of the Amazon basin, practically complete as I understand. Fieldwork such as she conducted in the Bolivian Amazon is not for the faint-hearted. What a ruinous loss.

Recollections of her character and personality, her global concern and her adventurous spirit will never fade in those who knew her. Memories of this calamity itself will also persist, and will inspire and will energise advocates like you and like us who seek to make everyday cycling mainstream.

To feel desperately sad is natural. But sadness will surely fade and be replaced by a deeper impulse in long-lasting memory of her, to be effective in progressing what she stood for. Tragedy can beget strength.

Simon Hunt
Chair of Cyclox