THE family of a cyclist killed in a road accident at the weekend have described him as a “ray of sunshine who was adored by everyone”.
Gary Kelly, 49, died when his bike was in collision with a delivery lorry on the A354 between Coombe Bissett and the Rockbourne junction at 10.33am on Saturday.
He suffered head injuries and died at the scene.
Mr Kelly and a friend were enjoying one of their regular mountain bike rides when the accident happened.
The 49-year-old also enjoyed riding a motorbike as well as playing squash, going to the gym at Five Rivers Leisure Centre, snowboarding and skiing.
Born in Exeter, Mr Kelly moved to Hollows Close, Salisbury, as a child with his parents Bob and Sheila, brother Mark and sister Michelle.
He attended Harnham Infant and Junior schools and St Joseph’s School in Salisbury.
In 1983 he founded Town & Country Cleaning with his brother and the family ran the business, providing window cleaning, domestic and business cleaning services for clients across south Wiltshire.
Mr Kelly had a wide circle of friends, often joining them on motorcycling trips across Britain and Europe. He was a regular at the Greyfisher pub in Harnham and was known for his honest, easygoing manner.
When one of his friends became ill with cancer Mr Kelly pushed him up to the summit of Mount Snowden in a wheelchair, raising £1,000 for the Cancer Backup charity.
“That was the sort of person he was, Gary would do anything for anyone. Within ten minutes of meeting him he made you feel like you’d known him a lifetime,” said his brother Mark.
“He made the most of every day – he used to tell us he felt he’d lived a full life.
“We’re a close family and Gary was at the heart of it; everyone adored him.
“When he entered the room the atmosphere just lifted, he was so positive and cheerful – a real ray of sunshine.”
Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
Officers say the lorry was overtaking Mr Kelly and his friend when the accident happened near Hillcrest Farm as the pair cycled towards Salisbury.
They had planned to turn onto a cycleway leading to Great Yews Woods.
The other cyclist was unhurt.
“Everyone is devastated; Gary will be so sadly missed, and he had friends all over the world,” said Mr Kelly. “He was serious, careful, kind, friendly and a cool dude all at the same time. You couldn’t not like Gary – he was a very special person.”