The heartbroken son of an endurance cyclist killed along the Nullarbor last week says his “adventurous” father was fully aware of the  pastime’s inherent risks.

In an interview with ABC Mornings, Kieran Barker highlighted the intrepid spirit of his late father, Chris, who was fatally struck by a truck on the Eyre Highway last Thursday.

“He really loved his outdoors,” Kieran Barker said.

He recalled how his father earned the nickname “Caveman” after a mountaineering adventure in New Zealand went awry.

“He and his brother were attempting to climb Mount Cook, they were stuck in a blizzard and had to survive in a snow cave for five days … and they had to be rescued,” he said.

Cyclists from across Australia and around the world have paid tribute to the 62-year-old, who was completing his sixth Indian Pacific Wheel Ride (IPWR) from Fremantle to Sydney.

Chris Barker (right) with grandchildren Milla, Brydie and Hemi Barker. (Supplied: Kieran Barker)

“Dad really loved cycling … and the camaraderie with all riders really enthused Dad and kept him going back to it every year,” Mr Barker said.

As his family comes to grips with the tragedy, his son said they had received many “lovely messages”.

A 36-year-old South Australian truck driver has been charged with manslaughter following the fatality.

In March 2017, another IPWR competitor, Mike Hall, was struck by a car and killed on the Monaro Highway just inside the ACT border.

On the same day as Chris Barker’s death, an IPWR competitor was hit by a vehicle east of Norseman.

Chris Barker with his grandson Hemi. (Supplied: Kieran Barker)

The man in his fifties was flown to Royal Perth Hospital.

Journalist and endurance cyclist Rupert Guinness, who completed the IPWR several years ago, said Thursday’s incidents were “devastating”.

“I knew Chris, and he was a stickler for cautiousness and safety,” he said.

“It’s not necessarily the standard of the rider or the mindset of the rider that determines their fate in this event.

“It’s a complex situation, but I certainly don’t believe that people will stop riding across Australia – it is a wonderful journey.”

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