Cycling advocates say they are concerned with the basic skill level of many riders after two fatal bicycle accidents last week.

Rex Dalzell, 75, of Palmerston North, died after being struck by a car on Railway Rd near Bunnythorpe, 10km northeast of Palmerston North, about 10am on Friday.

Ashhurst police constable Darrell Cowan said he was still speaking to the car's driver and it was too early to say if charges would be laid.

Ariana Kokaua, 10, of Hamilton, died after riding her bike over steep wooden steps while visiting relatives in the Porirua suburb of Papakowhai on Thursday.

She was going to a dairy with her aunt and cousin when she fell while cycling down about 12 steps about 1pm, Kapiti Mana police acting area commander Inspector Soni Malaulau said. "This appears to be a very tragic accident and as a community we share in the family's grief."

Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) and BikeNZ spokeswoman Anne Fitzsimon said yesterday that she was saddened by the deaths but pleased the incidents had been referred to the coroner as an inquest could identify any patterns and whether law changes were necessary.

"CAN and BikeNZ are concerned with the loss of basic cycle skills which are often lacking in young New Zealanders," she said.

"That's why we have developed cycle skills training programmes for children through to adults, based on world best practice."

- NZPA