Tributes were paid to a well-loved dad who fell from his bike on a country road.
Father-of-four Mark Buckley, 51, failed to negotiate a bend on a ride through the Trough of Bowland he had cycled many times before.
The physical education officer, at Garth Prison in Leyland, suffered catastrophic injuries and died soon after reaching hospital in Preston.
Devastated wife Sharon today described him as a “unique, special husband and dad”, and revealed the route had been one of his favourite cycle trips.
“He died doing what he loved, where he loved, in one of his favourite places,” she said at the family home in Ashfield Rise, Catterall, near Garstang.
“We are devastated.
“He had so much more to live for, he lived for his girls and will be missed so much.”
Mark, who was in training for a half-marathon in Lancaster in October, was out on a ride last Thursday morning when he crashed out on a bend in Trough Road, near Dunsop Bridge.
His companion raised the alarm and he was rushed to hospital but paramedics and doctors could not save him.
Mark was a dedicated sportsman, having completed four Iron Man triathlons and numerous cycle rides.
Many of his sporting achievements were for charity, dedicated to the Anthony Nolan Trust and Leukaemia Research, for which he raised thousands of pounds after second daughter Katie was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2009.
As well as his love for cycling, Mark, known as ‘Bucko,’ was a team coach at Garstang Gymnastics Club, a member of Garstang Cycling Club and former player at Garstang Rugby Club.
Sharon said: “He was just a character, unique, full of life, constantly on the go and doing things. He adored the girls and was just so proud of them – his friends were always saying how great it was he had things he could do with each of them and they all used to fight over him.
“He was the strong character, he wasn’t perfect, but we all felt safe and secure with him. He was the strong one all through Katie’s treatment.”
Eldest daughter Sam is due to tackle the Lancaster half-marathon on October 20. She will now attempt it alongside her father’s friends and work colleagues.
And, with sisters Katie, Charlotte and Ginny, she will also tackle the Brooks Hell Runner on November 2. Plans are also underway for a memorial bike ride.
Sharon added: “Everyone has said what a massive mark he made, his workmates and inmates all loved and respected him and laughed at his competitiveness and his booming voice during his spinning classes.”
Mark’s funeral will be held at St Thomas’ Church, Garstang, next Wednesday, September 18, at 10.30am.
Sgt Jon Allwright said: “This was a tragic incident, and Mark has left behind four daughters and a wife. His family are being supported by specially trained officers at this time.
“If anybody witnessed this incident, then I would ask them to contact police.”
l Anybody with information can contact police on 101.