Hawke's Bay world champion Regan Gough is mourning the loss of one of the most influential figures of his cycling career.

Central Hawke's Bay man Graham Golding died at his farm on January 20. The 72-year-old was riding a quad bike during thistle spraying on a property east of Waipawa. Police believed the bike rolled on him but investigations were continuing.

Gough said Mr Golding's death was a huge shock for the community.

"He was a guy you'd think would live to 120, he lived a very active life was fit, we didn't really see that coming."

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They had lived just two houses away from each other for the past 19 years.

"He has probably been one of the most influential people throughout my cycling career."

He had a "good catch up" with him just two weeks before his death while in town for a race.

He said he had looked up to Mr Golding from a young age.

"When I was six or seven I envied anyone who could ride more than 50km and he was doing the (160km) Lake Taupo Challenge."

For someone in his late 60s-early 70s he definitely punched above his weight, Gough said. Mr Golding would ride past the driveway at 9am and cruise back at 3pm.

"I doubt he would have stopped a second."

Gough often spent summers baling hay with Mr Golding. It was then that he began to encourage and mentor the young rider.

Mr Golding was also a "bit of a hand" on the fishing reel.

He was a huge part of Cycling CHB.

"I don't think I could put a number on how long he's been riding a bike or been part of the club but it would be decades that's for sure. He was a genuine guy and one of the most hardworking I've come across."

Gough said he appreciated everything Mr Golding had done for him.