'Fun loving' racer remembered

By Susan Sandys of the Ashburton Guardian

Hyde was killed in a race at Timaru. Photo / Thinkstock
Hyde was killed in a race at Timaru. Photo / Thinkstock

Mayfield motorcyclist Craig Hyde has been remembered as "fun loving" and "a role model to younger riders" after being killed in a race at Timaru.

The 46-year-old was apparently run over by a following rider after coming off his bike at about 12.30pm on Saturday while racing on the International Motor Raceway at Levels.

Mr Hyde was in a race of about 25 riders for four stroke bikes up to 250cc. He was riding his Suzuki FXR 150 bucket bike, when his rear tyre slipped on the third bend. He fell and rolled down the track.

A following rider, who did not want to be named, said because it was the first lap of the five-lap race, the riders were still tightly bunched, so when Mr Hyde came off his bike it was impossible for another one of his fellow riders to avoid Mr Hyde, who died at the scene.

The man said the incident had been a terrible event for him to witness after he had seen another fatal crash earlier this year at the same race track. In that accident a 20-year-old rider died 26 days after being injured.

"My wife's been onto me (to give up motorcycle racing)," he said.

"What do you do, wrap yourself in cotton wool and die of obesity or get out and do something," he said.

He said the bucket bikes which Mr Hyde rode "should be at the safer end of the scale" as they reached maximum speeds of just 150 kilometres per hour. They could however go faster around corners, and the third corner of the track on which yesterday's accident had happened, he believed the bikes would be travelling about 80 kilometres per hour.

He said Mr Hyde had been friendly, a "good fun loving guy" with a great sense of humour.

Mr Hyde was a family man with children, and a self-employed motorcycle mechanic based at his home garage. He had recently taken on a staff member as his business grew.

He had recently returned back to motorcycle racing after a stint at car racing, enjoying the sport more and believing the people to be friendlier.

"He was just having so much fun doing it."

Motorcycle Canterbury secretary Wendy Ashmore said Mr Hyde was a good rider and the accident had been an absolute tragedy.

He was a valued member of the club, giving fellow members mechanical advice, and would support the club at events at Ruapuna in Christchurch and at the Levels.

The club was family orientated, and Mr Hyde had been a good role model to younger members.

"He had a very caring attitude. He was a mentor, would ride with younger members on the race track just to help them," she said.

The incident has been referred to the coroner.

No other person was injured during the accident, although in a separate crash a motorcyclist received serious chest injuries and was taken to Timaru Hospital, where he was reported to be in a stable condition.

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