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Craig Percasky, from Kaiapoi, lost several friends in the 2010 West Coast coal mine tragedy and had always felt a deep sense of injustice over what happened.
He was a regular at the memorial events to commemorate the 29 men who lost their lives.
At the weekend, he was one of a group of motorcyclists taking part in the Pike River True Tribute 29 Bike Run.
Percasky travelled from Kaiapoi on Friday with a group of about eight motorcyclists.
About 10am on Sunday, he had just begun the ride through the back blocks of Greymouth to the Pike River mine site when he collided with another vehicle near the Cobden Bridge.
He died at the crash site.
Hundreds of friends and family members have paid tribute to Percasky through posts on social media.
"Unc left his legacy with everyone who came in contact with him," read one post.
"One of the nicest people you could wish to meet," commented another.
"[He] loved his family very much and touched everyone’s heart that he ever crossed paths with."
Anna Osborne, a close friend, said Percasky was an exceptional man with a heart of gold.
"He just had an infectious smile that shone. We loved his big bear hug - he was a giant, gentleman. I don’t know if anyone could say a bad word about him."
Osborne said he was a strong supporter of the families who had lost loved ones and felt a deep sense of injustice over the disaster.
"He turned up every year; he looked forward to it," she said.
"He was hurting for us, the families that were left behind. He always said he’d be there to help where he could.
Percasky had lost several friends in the Pike River coal mine and was a regular at the memorial events. He had travelled from Kaiapoi on Friday with a group of around eight motorcyclists.
Osborne said he had married his long-term partner four years ago.
"He loved his wife dearly ... They had just bought a lovely house together and were setting up [to do] lots of fun things together."
By Ben Tomsett