TRIBUTES have poured in for motorcycle enthusiast Brian Coombes, who has died at the age of 61.

First Bus employee Brian was the founder of the annual Weymouth Bike Night season and a beloved figure in the Dorset biker community.

He passed away peacefully at the Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester on February 12 after a battle with cancer.

The event he created will now be renamed ‘Brian Coombes Weymouth Bike Night’ in his honour and will be organised by his partner, Charlie Stafford, alongside Dave Luke.

Charlie said: “I would like to say how much I will miss him and I want to thank him for all of the hard work he did for Bike Night.”

She added: “I also wanted to personally thank the biker community for their support and for being so amazing.”

Dave said: “He was just a great fella and he has been taken far too soon.

“I am lost for words to be honest.”

The charity-supporting Bike Night finally moved from the harbourside to the Esplanade last year, near to the Jubilee Clock, which had always been Brian’s preferred location.

Dave added: “He spent seven years fighting to get Bike Night to where it is today and, last year, it was a great success.”

Brian also helped to organise the bike convoy at Weymouth Carnival, which will be dedicated to his memory at this year’s event.

Lisa Hindle, who is organising the convoy, said: “He was always smiling and he has done a huge amount for us all.

“There was always a hundred or so bikes going around at Bike Night and everyone knew Brian and he pretty much knew everyone.

“He affected quite a lot of people and, just judging from feedback, everyone is shocked and it has hit people quite hard.”

The convoy will pause on the day of the carnival at Jubilee Clock in order to honour a minute’s silence for Brian.

John Bramble, who organises an annual charity motorbike ride in Weymouth, said: “He always greeted us on Bike Night with a smile on his face and I’m so pleased for him and Charlie that they managed to get his wish of hosting Weymouth Bike Night on the Esplanade before his sad passing.”

His funeral will take place at Weymouth Crematorium on Monday, February 29.

A bike convoy on the day will leave Abbott and Rees on Abbotsbury Road, then proceed to Greenhill, head along the seafront down to Alexandra Gardens, back along King Street, through the First Bus garage and then finally to the crematorium.