About 40 bikers dressed in black leather formed a funeral procession for patched Rebels Motorcycle Club member Craig Ritchie yesterday.
Mr Ritchie died on Friday after he collided with a 10-tonne Nissan truck and trailer unit on State Highway 2 turning right into Gill Lane, while riding his beloved Harley-Davidson V-Rod.
Friends and family lined the road either side of the cemetery yesterday, taking images and video, as the motorcade roared up Pyes Pa Rd.
Mr Ritchie's casket was carried from a white hearse by Rebels New Zealand Motorcycle Club and Filthy Few members, followed by friends and family to his final resting place.
His coffin was adorned with the New Zealand flag.
There were about 100 people at the small graveside service as he was farewelled by those who loved him.
The motorcade began about 12pm at Mr Ritchie's tattooing business in Roxanne Place, Windermere, before travelling through Tauranga and Mount Maunganui on the way to Pyes Pa.
As mourners gathered around Mr Ritchie, flowers and mementos were placed on his coffin. Family members carried red roses.
Mr Ritchie's devastated family were still reeling from his death.
His partner of six years, Samantha Neilsen, 28, said Mr Ritchie, who was nicknamed Stitch, was her best friend.
"Family always came first with Craig, especially his three daughters, whom he adored, and life without him will never be the same," she said.
Ms Neilsen said she took some comfort in the fact her partner died while doing something he loved.
"Craig loved riding and he was passionate about anything to do with motorbikes and rode every day, no matter what the weather was like.
"It was a real social thing for him and he loved the camaraderie he got from being in the club. Craig loved nothing better than riding to a mate's place for a coffee and a chat." Additional reporting Sandra Conchie