A motorcyclist participating in a charity event for the Wellington Free Ambulance died when he hit a median barrier this morning.

Emergency services were called to the crash in the southbound lane on State Highway 2, about 1km south of Moonshine Rd, about 11.20am.

The Ulysses Motor Cycle Club was holding an annual event in which motorcyclists drove from Upper Hutt to Wellington to raise funds for the ambulance service, Wellington Free Ambulance spokeswoman Libby Carson said.

The club extended participation in the event to other motorcycle clubs, and it was one of those other clubs to which the dead man belonged.

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"The irony is they were raising funds for an event that we ultimately had to attend and the funds go towards being able to go and attend sad events like that, so there's a very sad irony with it,'' Ms Carson said.

The group decided to continue on with its event, and drivers rode into Wellington as planned.

"They wanted to do that, they were very clear about continuing on and continuing on with the support for us.''

This afternoon another motorcyclist was flown to hospital in a serious condition after he came off his bike while out riding with a friend.

The 62-year-old Motueka man was riding a bike behind his friend's on State Highway 6 near St Arnaud, about 90km southwest of Nelson today when he came off his bike.

The other rider noticed he was no longer behind him and turned back to find him.

"[He] turned around and went back up the road and saw him in a screaming heap on the side of the road up a bank, he doesn't really know the reason why he came off,'' Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford said.

The injured man was not conscious enough to say what had happened.

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The man was flown to Nelson Hospital in a serious condition with multiple injuries.