THE devastated family of a Skipton cyclist killed in an horrific accident have paid tribute to "a man who would do anything for anybody and who cared about people so much".
James Nelson's body was found among rocks and beside a stream below Dibble's Bridge, on the Hebden to Pateley Bridge road on Thursday.
A post-mortem examination revealed that James, who was 32 and worked at Skipton Building Society, had died of multiple and traumatic injuries to his head and chest.
James's heartbroken father, Skipton-born Dale Nelson, said his son had "a real wanderlust" and was "a traveller of life".
He told the Craven Herald: "James had been to Canada and had visited Kenya. He used to have an American girlfriend and had been all over Europe with her. Obviously the whole family is devastated - we will miss him very, very much."
His sister, Sarah Nelson, said James had doted on his niece - her daughter Amelia, aged five.
She said: "James loved her so very much and she absolutely worshipped him. Amelia was very ill in hospital a couple of years ago and she never smiled at all - except when James came to visit.
"He had a visa to go to Canada but put off the trip until she was better. Then they'd go into the woods together almost every day to look for fairies and search for pixie dust. He was selfless, a man who would do anything for anybody and who cared about people so much. He loved his family and being with his friends. The world is a darker place without him."
Police believe the incident happened between 7pm last Wednesday and 10.30am last Thursday .
James, of Aldersley Avenue, who was passionate about cycling from a young age, had been riding from Greenhow towards Hebden.
Traffic Constable Steve Beckwith, of North Yorkshire Road Policing Group, said: "We don't think James has been hit. We don't think there is anything suspicious about his death at this stage.
"We want to hear from anyone who saw him on that road, especially as he approached the bridge."
James, who was an active member of Skipton Cycling Club, was wearing black cycling shorts, red arm warmers and a black jersey with a white hoop round the middle with the words Craft written along it.
Iain Vokes-Tilly, the club secretary, said: "With an obvious passion for cycling and having a really genuine and likeable character, James quickly became popular within Skipton Cycling Club, and demonstrated a real talent for bike riding. He really did just like riding his bike and chatting to friends,
"I attempted to coax him into shaving his legs as a cyclist, but quite rightly he replied 'I can't be bothered to shave my face so why start on my legs'."
"This sense of humour endeared him very quickly to the the club and he will be sadly missed. Rest in peace James."
James was educated in Skipton, at Parish Church Primary School and Aireville School, and the sixth form at South Craven School.
He later studied applied computing at Leeds Metropolitan University and worked at Skipton Building Society from 2006.
James's colleagues said they were "deeply shocked and saddened".
Duncan Ratcliffe, head of IT shared services centre, said: “Our condolences and sympathies are with his family at this time.
“James joined the society in 2006 as a trainee technician in our image processing department, and subsequently progressed to being our technical expert on the system in the application support team.
"James was very highly regarded and his work over the years was really appreciated by his colleagues. He will be very fondly remembered for his quiet, unassuming, helpful manner and also for his wild facial hair, which he was quite proud of.”
A funeral service will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Skipton, next Thursday, August 28, at 1pm, followed by private cremation. Optional "bad shirt or tie" may be worn.
Anyone who can help the police with their inquiries should contact TC Beckwith at Skipton PoliceStation on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting reference number 12140137657.