Mumbai: Cyclists Mourn Ex-Intel Head Avtar Saini In Emotional Gateway Of India Memorial Ride

Mumbai: Cyclists Mourn Ex-Intel Head Avtar Saini In Emotional Gateway Of India Memorial Ride

A large group of cyclists rode from Juhu at 5.45 am to reach Gateway of India at 7am for the memorial.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 10:42 PM IST
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Mumbai’s cycling community gathered at the Gateway of India on Sunday morning to pay their respects to avid cyclist Avtar Saini, former head of Intel India, who died on the morning of February 28 after being struck by a speeding car while cycling on Palm Beach Road, Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

A large group of cyclists rode from Juhu at 5.45 am to reach Gateway of India at 7 am for the memorial. The event was broadcast live on the social media pages of Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts, a group that has nearly 29,000 members.

Saini, who had headed semiconductor chip manufacturer Intel’s operations in India, had headed the team that designed the Intel Pentium processor. According to fellow bikers, Saini started cycling at the age of 62 and soon became a prolific rider, covering 10,000 km in 2022 alone. An amazing feat for a rider starting so late in life, his admirers said.

Ajay Lulia, a software professional, and a ‘bicycle councillor’ – one of the 24 such posts created by Amsterdam-based non-profit group Bycs, said he could not attend the gathering on Sunday morning. “It was a horrific accident. Avtar was a good friend and I had met him in Dadar during a cycling event,” said Lulia.

Saini was an admired member of the city’s vibrant cycling community and was looked upon as a role model. The Mumbai Cycling Enthusiasts, wrote on its social media pages, ‘Avtar's passion for cycling wasn’t just about the thrill of the ride; it embodied his philosophy of living life to the fullest. He encouraged others to seize each moment, to relish every breath, and to make the most of their time on this earth. His infectious enthusiasm touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark of inspiration and zest for life.’

Many of those who participated in the Gateway of India function or had watched it on social media expressed their concerns about safe driving conditions for bikers. One commentator pointed out the irony that the road where Saini met with the fatal accident has sculptures of cyclists. “The authorities must take strict action against irresponsible driving,” the comment said.

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