DOUG Garley was a man who always thought about other people before thinking of himself.
His sudden death has left a big hole in the Ballarat community, with those close to him speaking of his tireless community work and devotion to cycling.
Mr Garley’s life was cut short on Tuesday afternoon when he was struck and killed near Clunes by a car driven by an 85-year-old woman.
The former professional cyclist in Europe was riding alone on one of his frequent training rides when he was struck from behind while heading north on Creswick-Clunes Road.
He died at the scene.
An avid member of the Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club and founding member of the Eureka Veterans Cycling Club, Mr Garley has been remembered as an extremely selfless person with a heart of gold.
His wife Jenny said it was a “surreal” feeling yesterday as she grieved over the loss of her husband of 28 years.
“He died doing what he loved doing, out exploring on the open road,” she said.
“He was very passionate about everything in his life, which really shone through in everything he did.
“He loved Ballarat and everything about it.”
In addition to his devotion to the sport of cycling, Mr Garley also worked at McCallum Disability Services, where he ran special programs to nurture clients to help them in real world situations.
Having previously lived in Melbourne, he moved permanently to Ballarat six years ago, where he relished the opportunity to hit the open road on his bike.
Training partner and close friend Ken Heres often went on training rides with Mr Garley out on country roads.
Mr Heres, president of the Eureka Veterans Cycling Club, recalled one memory where his close friend took open-road cycling to the next level.
“I’ve lived in Ballarat my whole life and one time I went on a training ride with him and he got me lost, even when he’d only lived in Ballarat a few years,” Mr Heres said.
“He just loved the country roads around Ballarat, he couldn’t get that in Melbourne, that’s why he loved Ballarat.”
President of the Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club Phillip Orr said Mr Garley had touched every single person at the club and that he had a great deal of time for everybody.
Mal Sawford, president of the Carnegie Caulfield Club where Mr Garley was a long-time member, also paid tribute.
“He was a fantastic person, always willing to lend a hand to anyone,” he said.
At McCallum, Mr Garley developed confidence within his clients by teaching them real world skills and also ran a soup bus program.
He is survived by his wife Jenny and two sons Eddy, 26, and Jack, 23.