Remembering Lori with a ride in Wyoming Sunday

Natalie and Oliver Neville in front of the likeness of Lori Neville. A memorial ride is being held Sunday.

It is a tribute as vibrant as the woman herself.

An image of Lori Neville, the Wyoming woman who died while cycling a year ago, visually jumps off the side of The Village Fireplace Shoppe in Wyoming where she worked.

She stands, holding her yellow bike over her head, upside down, says Tina Neville, her mother in law, because she never finished her ride. On her leg, her birthday and the day she died, August 20.

Lori had been part of the Great Cycle Challenge Canada to raise money for research into childhood cancers. She had been cycling around Lambton County and had clocked 299 of her 500 km ride. And her fundraising total was nearing $1,000. That Saturday morning, on her way down Petrolia Line to go into Corunna, she was struck and killed.

Lori left behind her wife, Natalie and her son, Oliver.

The story moved people in the cycling community and by the time the challenge was over, more than 400 people from all 10 provinces and one territory finished Lori’s ride for her. In all, $11,267 was raised on Lori’s Challenge Page.

A year has passed and Tina says the adults, including Natalie, are doing their best to continue on. That’s hard to do since the criminal case against the driver who struck Lori is still ongoing.

And people are trying to keep the memories alive says Tina, particularly for Oliver. “He misses his mommy. But you just try to keep everything alive for him,” she says. “He’s gonna miss a lot with her.

“I think that’s the worst part of it. All the adults can keep trying to struggle and move forward. But a little boy says he misses his mommy – that’s hard.”

Sunday, there will be a memorial ride for Lori. It’s not necessarily a fundraiser but donations will be accepted for the Great Cycle Challenge. Riders will gather at the Lambton County building at 3 pm and travel down the municipal walkway to Reece’s Corners.

Lori’s family will be thinking of the young woman who had so much to give. “She was a very special girl,” said Tina, stopping to compose herself. “She always had a smile on her face. She always was happy.”

Tina thinks Lori would have liked the cycler on the side of the building she worked in.

“For us, it’s a way of remembering her. It’s a good, good thing. She loved to do design. So it turned out really well.”