The cyclist who died following a collision with a truck in Napier on Friday evening was Benjamin Den Ouden, 30, from Napier.
The son of Bob Stansbury and Esther Den Ouden, he died following a collision with a truck on Georges Drive, between Kennedy Rd and Thistle St, shortly before 6pm.
Born in Whangarei, Mr Den Ouden completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Studies and Philosophy at Victoria University in Wellington.
After living in India and studying music in the United Kingdom he joined a Hindu Monastic community before undertaking religious studies in the Netherlands where he was a Research Master student at the University of Groningen’s Centre for the Study of Religion and Culture in Asia.
Mr Den Ouden’s uncle Mike Stansbury said he was “the sort of nephew you would be quite happy to have”.
“He had a sense of humour, was competent and he had some weird ideas about music – death rock or something I think it is called – but that’s what all old people like me say.”
Former classmate Tai Neilsen said all Mr Den Ouden did was a success.
“Ben Den Ouden slayer of gods, joker, and kind heart,” he posted on Facebook.
“I’ve lost a great friend and my love goes out to your family and all the friends you made across the world.”
Family friend Dave Wolland said Mr Den Ouden completed his studies in the Netherlands and returned to New Zealand just one week ago, staying with his father in Napier.
“He was a lovely, lovely guy, he said.
“His particular thing was an interest in matters of religion and all sorts of spiritual persuasions.
“His future looked extremely good, he was thinking of doing some study in Wellington or working in the university there. He was an exceptional person, freshly back in New Zealand and I was looking forward to seeing him.”
A Serious Crash Unit investigation is ongoing into his death, which happened near McLean Park where a Super Rugby match was under way. The road was re-opened just after 10pm.
Mr Wolland said a factor could have been Mr Den Ouden’s being used to bike-friendly Europe.
“In New Zealand bikes are rare but in Europe they are everywhere and the traffic behaves accordingly – they are extremely wary of bikes.”
– Hawkes Bay Today