Katikati man Daryl Bryenton had his share of near-death experiences but this time luck was not on his side.
The experienced motorcyclist died on Friday when he lost control of his bike and crossed the centre-line into the path of an oncoming Toyota Surf on SH25 about 5km north of Whiritoa about 1.40pm.
Sister Tania Holman said she and his wife Cherie had spent many hours sitting by his bedside after other accidents including when he ruptured his spleen playing rugby and cut an artery in his arm in a chainsaw accident.
"If Daryl had an accident, it's always been big, right from a young age. He's definitely had his nine lives," Mrs Holman said.
Friend Richard Lauder, who was riding behind Mr Bryenton, 48, at the time of the accident, said the committed family man died doing what he loved.
"There were three things he was very passionate about. That was family first, then his business to look after his family and then motorbikes."
Mrs Bryenton said her partner of 23 years was a wonderful husband and father to his three children and four step-children.
"Everything was based on the home. He worked in Thames and in Rotorua but everything was based around living here because we wanted our kids to grow up here in Katikati."
Mr Bryenton worked full time as an engineer and had his own business as a saw doctor and timber machinist on the side.
He was a skilled craftsman with an eye for detail which caused the odd disagreement, Mrs Bryenton said,
"He didn't talk in centimetres he talked in points of millimetres," she said. "I'm freestyle, he's measured."
Mr Bryenton had been passionate about motorbikes ever since he got his first one at the age of 13.
He had five motorbikes and was riding his brand new Aprilia Falco at the time of the accident.
He and Mr Lauder were making the most of the fine day and were on their way to Whangamata when the accident happened.
Mr Lauder said his friend had been braking when he hit a patch of fine gravel and lost control of his bike.
He managed to recover but found himself too close to the centre line and still travelling too fast to negotiate a sharp corner.
"He was probably only doing about 30km/h on impact," Mr Lauder said. "If he'd lost control and fallen off initially, he would have missed that truck but he didn't want to break his bike ... He was so proud of it."
A service will be held at St Peters Community Centre, Beach Road, Katikati, on Friday, at 2pm, followed by a private cremation.