A man struck and killed by a driver while cycling in Horowhenua lived and breathed the sport, his family says.

Peter Jenkins, 54, was out for a regular Sunday training ride when he was hit by a van being driven by a woman on State Highway 1 at Manakau, north of Otaki, on Sunday afternoon.

Jenkins' father John told the Herald his son has been riding a bike for as long as he can remember and he'd grown up to love cycling with an insatiable passion.

John Jenkins, who together with wife, Val, live near their son in the small settlement of Manakau where he died, said Peter was a member of the Levin Cycling Club which had rallied around the family since the tragedy.


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"The cycling club has been very supportive and representatives were down at our place in Manakau last night discussing what we're going to do with the funeral."

The club had suggested holding it at the Levin Domain where the velodrome is based.

The family had been inundated with messages of support from the cycling community all around the country.

When asked how long his son had been riding a bike, John said "since he was a schoolboy".

It is with a deep sadness that The Levin Cycling Club members and their families mourn the passing of Peter Jenkins on...

Posted by Levin Cycling Club on Sunday, 3 November 2019

"Basically his whole life. Cycling was his life. He loved it ... You couldn't stop him from talking about cycling."

Peter had travelled overseas with it, including to Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, and on the day of his death had told his parents of his plan to head back to Sri Lanka at the end of next year.

Recently he had been working with young cyclists.


Peter had been working as a truck driver after getting out of the IT industry and had never looked back, his father said.

Police said they were yet to make any arrests or lay charges.

Acting national road policing manager Inspector Amelia Steel said their thoughts were with the families of loved ones who died at the weekend.

Knowing their son's death could have been prevented was a bitter pill to swallow, John said, making it even tougher "dealing with the trauma of it all".

Peter didn't smoke, drink or use drugs.

Instead, he was a "green sort of person" so much that he didn't mow his lawns so that the birds could eat the seed.

Four motorcyclists have died in the past week along with two cyclists. Police and ACC have now teamed up to remind people to be aware of each other on the road.

"I urge both motorcyclists and cyclists to be cautious and protected on the road; don't take risks and make sure you're wearing protective gear – it could make a huge difference to your chance of survival.

"To reduce the number of these tragedies we need all road users to make safe decisions on our roads. This includes drivers being aware of motorbikes and cyclists around them.

"These vulnerable riders can be overlooked when driving, so please make sure you are aware of your surroundings; who you're sharing the road with, and look twice before changing lanes."

ACC injury prevention leader Dave Keilty said it was timely to remind road users that warmer weather brings more motorcyclists back onto the roads after the winter, resulting in a spike in on-road accidents.

"Motorists need to be extra vigilant – look twice at intersections and when changing lanes, and check blind spots. Riders should think about their on-road skills, even if they're experienced, and check their safety gear is adequate."

The weekend's deaths have pushed the unofficial number of motorcyclists to have died up to 47, compared 39 at same time last year.

Twelve cyclists have now been killed, compared to 5, at same time last year.

Patrick Morgan of the Cycling Action Network told the Herald on Monday that more needed to be done to protect cyclists, especially from heavy vehicles.

"A disproportionate amount of harm is caused by heavy vehicles on our roads. Heavy vehicles account for 6 per cent of kilometres travelled yet they cause more than 30 per cent of the harm."

However, Nick Leggett of the Road Transport Forum disputed that, and said compared to cars the harm would actually be less for the kilometres heavy vehicles travelled.

Peter Jenkins is expected to be farewelled in Levin this weekend.