One by one they came. Responding to a call from one of their own. You heard the loud, throaty roar of the engines before they came into sight, pulling into the hotel car park near an industrial estate in Redruth, Cornwall. Hundreds of bikers gathering together to pay tribute to a fellow motorcyclist that many of them never knew.
Dominique Monnerau was a popular local motorcyclist who lost his life in an accident on the A393 near Ponsanooth in September. His funeral service took place on Saturday October 8 and Mr Monnerau’s widow Terri wanted the biking community to come together to pay their respects as a fitting send off for her husband.
Family friend Nik Kent posted a message on Facebook which read: “Hi all fellow bikers, I have a big favour to ask of you all.
“A good friend and colleague of mine, Dominique Monnerau, passed away Friday 23rd. He died doing something he loved: riding his bike.
“His wife has asked me if I can arrange a procession of bikes to follow him to Camborne crematorium. As a mark of respect for a fellow biker, can you spare some time to make this wish happen.”
They gathered starting before 10am, parking up and taking off their helmets to rest on the handlebars before sharing a few words with their mates, waiting for the funeral car and Terri Monnerau to arrive. Conversations were in muted tones as they shared stories and admired each other’s machines.
If you are a biker, you belong to a clan; a community; people from all walks of life united by a shared passion for bikes and the open road. Mostly men, but some women too, too shy to talk on camera but all agreed they were drawn to be there by their shared passion even though many of them hadn’t met Dominique Monnerau.
After the hearse arrived and hugs and handshakes were shared between the grieving wife and her family, the bikers donned their helmets and started their engines as the procession took off.
The procession started slowly at first, led by the Funeral Director, followed by Terri riding pillion on a bike and finally all the bikers who had responded to the call to pay their respects.
The bikes revved their engines, a myriad of sizes, colours and models. They rode side-by-side heading off down the road to Camborne crematorium where the ceremony was to be held.