HE was a gentle giant who died doing what he loved.
Those were the poignant sentiments as more than 100 people turned out to say goodbye to popular motorcyclist Brian Bowley, who was killed on July 21 when his trike struck a tree at Beacon Hill, near Meonstoke, during a charity ride-out.
Brian, 72, known as Ginge to most people, was a member of Waterlooville Motorcycle Club and it was quite a spectacle as a stream of more than 30 revving bikers and trikers made up the funeral procession.
The tribute rideout went across Portsdown Hill, with Brian’s hearse being pulled by a trike, before arriving at Portchester Crematorium.
On the coffin was his beloved denim riding jacket and a pair of bikers’ shoes.
The coffin was carried in to the classic rock and roll tune, Blue Suede Shoes, by Elvis Presley.
The service heard that Brian, of Woodsedge in Waterlooville, was a loving father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, and a doting husband to Miriam.
The Very Rev Paul Miles-Knight, chaplain of the Royal British Legion Riders’ Branch, said: ‘Even people who had known him for a short time felt as if they had known him for a long time.
‘He was a man with a fantastic sense of humour.
‘He loved a good party especially if dressing up was involved.
‘He was a member of ABBA, Ozzy Osborne and of course, his blue Teddy Boy outfit.
‘He was a lovely gentle giant, generous in all sorts of ways.’
He added: ‘Ginge would be content.
‘He died doing what he loved. He died doing it for the benefit of others.
‘Does that not just sum him up?’
A collection was made for The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. Afterwards guests went to The Forest of Bere pub in Denmead, the village where Brian was born.