More than 1 000 riders join family, friends for memorial
A lone yellow motorcycle stood next to bike lover and drag racer Dayalan Padayachey’s coffin as more than 1 000 bikers from across South Africa paid tribute to a man who lived life a quarter mile at a time.
His family said he would have been proud with the send-off he received yesterday.
Padayachey, 50, was killed on Tuesday last week when his bike was clipped by a car on the N2, causing him to smash into a barrier rail.
“We were all at his side when he took his last breath, when he laughed for the last time, when he spoke his last words,” close friend Clinton Frieslaar said. “He died doing what he loved.” Amid the leather, ripped jeans and sounds of bikes outside the Boardwalk Convention Centre, there was not a dry eye.
Frieslaar was part of the group of friends with Padayachey, his wife and children who enjoyed a morning playing tenpin bowling at Baywest Shopping Centre last Tuesday.
It was on their way home that Padayachey was killed.
“He greeted us all and then said ‘stay close’,” Frieslaar said through tears.
While his friend loved biking, his family was his true passion, he said.
Padayachey was described as a best friend to his wife Maya, daughter Neritika and son Dayaan.
Dayaan, 20, stood up to rev the bike next to his dad’s coffin after recalling a memory where his dad, standing in line at Pick n Pay, spontaneously paid for the groceries of the pensioner behind him.
“He didn’t care about money. The most important thing to him was family and friends,” Dayaan said.
“He would have wanted all of you here today.
“Everyone thought he was a wild character, but he was the kindest person I knew. He had the biggest heart.
“He meant everything to me. I can’t explain the love I have for him.
“He was my best friend and I don’t know what I am going to do without him.”
Dayaan joked that he would even miss the way his dad swore at him on a daily basis.
Neritika, 18, said she had no regrets because she had told her dad every single day that she loved him.
“I will miss his hugs and kisses the most,” she said in a tribute read out by a family representative.
“I remember when he let me drive when I was 13. He was worried, so I said, ‘Don’t worry dad, I am your daughter so I can do anything’.”
Addressing her brother, Dayaan, Neritika said: “Don’t stop riding. Dad groomed you and indulged you with that gift.”
Neritika said her parents had had the perfect relationship.
Maya said the 23 years she had spent with her husband had been her best.
“There is so much we still planned to do. I will miss our coffee dates, dancing to Gipsy Kings and sharing one seat on your bike,” Maya said.