A Birmingham IT consultant who had a lifelong passion for motorbikes was killed when he crashed during a practice run for the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man.
John Loder?s grieving family last night said the 56 year-old had lived for motorbike racing and had become a stalwart of the island race, having competed every year since 1979.
He finished second last year and in 2003 in the Senior Classic race.
The father-of-two died after losing control of his 496cc Nourish Seeley at 33rd Milestone during Friday evening?s practice session.
It was the second death at this year?s event. Last Wednesday Geoff Sawyer, aged 55 from Ipswich, was killed.
Mr Loder?s wife Diane, aged 53, last night said her husband?s death had not dampened their son William?s enthusiasm for motorbikes and should not be used as an excuse to criticise the races.
She said it was only the second time in the 26 years her husband had been competing in the Isle of Man TT Races and Manx Grand Prix that she had not accompanied him to the island.
?Bike riding was his life,? she said, speaking at the family home in Cartland Road, Kings Heath. ?He has been riding since he was 16 and competing since 1979. He knew the risks: we have a few friends who have died there, too.
?Our son William is mad about motorbikes, too, but he is adamant that what has happened to his dad isn?t used to criticise the dangers of racing on the Isle of Man.
?John just loved it.? William, aged 20, a student, is still on the Isle of Man after travelling with his father to watch him compete.
Mrs Loder, who stayed behind with 19- year- old daughter Joanna, also a university student, paid tribute to her husband. She said: ?He brought joy to lots of people through his racing. He was a fantastic engineer and a dedicated rider, willing to help anyone.
?As a father and husband he was superb.?
This year marks the 101st year of racing on the Isle of Man; more than 200 riders have lost their life in that time.
Last night, grand prix organiser the Manx Motor Cycle Club expressed its ?deepest sympathy? to Mr Loder?s family.
Mr Loder was a widely known and well-respected rider, with a good record.
In 1999 he finished third in the 500cc and fifth in the Pre-TT classic 1000cc races, and in 2000 second in the 500cc ? missing out by just 0.1 seconds ? and third in the singles race.
In the Manx Grand Prix Classic races he came home fourth in the 500cc and fifth in the 350cc in 1998, took third in the 500cc and seventh in the 350cc in 1999, and finished fifth in the 350cc in 2000.
A number of fellow enthusiasts paid tribute to him on the official MMCC internet message board.
One said: ?It was a terrible shock to know that someone who was so good on the Isle of Man course has been killed.?