Waipukurau man Lance Perry - a keen cyclist and motorcyclist and an avid hunter - is being mourned by his family and friends this week after he was involved in a fatal crash just before dawn on Monday.
Lance, 60, was riding his motorcycle south on State Highway 2 out of Waipukurau.
He was on his way to work at Silver Fern Farms in Takapau, a journey he'd been making for the past 20 years, when he was involved in a collision with a ute at the intersection of Maharakeke Rd.
Lance suffered a number of injuries and was being transported to Wellington Hospital via the Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter but "he didn't quite get there", family spokeswoman Sharyn Hulena said.
"A lot of people are going to miss him dearly."
Lance was known to many in the Central Hawke's Bay community through his longterm employment at Silver Fern Farms and his 15 years as part of Cycling CHB, both as a competitive cyclist and an active member of the club.
Club president John Mudgway said the club members were in shock.
"It's very tragic. He was very well liked and always helped out at events, as well as being a good C-grade rider. He loved his bikes, we're going to miss him."
Sharyn says Lance got his family involved in cycling as well.
"We all tried it. Some of us liked it and did very well, and some of us didn't."
Lance was also a keen mountain biker, hunter and motorcyclist, having had road bikes since he was in high school. His family knew him as a safe motorcyclist who loved to be on two wheels.
Sharyn described him as "one of the safest people we knew".
"We want to thank the police, fire brigades, St John Ambulance and the rescue helicopter for everything they did, and for all their support."
Officer in charge of the scene Sergeant Neil Baker said calls to crashes like Monday's were always a particularly difficult side of the job for police and emergency services in small rural communities, knowing that it could easily be someone that they know personally.
"Police extend their condolences to Mr Perry's family and friends."
Mr Baker said the crash is currently being investigated by the Eastern District Police's Serious Crash Unit.
Funeral details for Lance have yet to be finalised.