A 'GREAT supporter' of Kendal Mountain Festival has died after a long battle with bowel cancer, his family and friends confirmed.  

Belgian-born Nils Amelinckx, who lived in Cumbria, has been a key member of the Lake District mountain biking community for several years. 

The 36-year-old founded Rider Resilience, a community interest company promoting the use of bicycles as a means to overcome hard times and develop physical and mental resilience. 

Mr Amelinckx was involved in the bicycle industry as a market specialist at Lyon Equipment in Tebay. He has also worked as a freelance journalist covering cycling-related topics. 

He died on December 19.

His Instagram page put out the following message on December 20: "It is with an extremely heavy heart to write that after years of fighting and resilience that Nils has heartbreakingly passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on 19th December.

"Nils was an amazing son, husband, dad, brother and friend and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him. Always planning the next adventure and unforgettable by anyone who met him.

"Nils would not want us to be sad, but to celebrate his life instead."

A fundraiser for his family set up in his memory has reached £19,720. He is survived by his wife and two children. It was one of his final wishes for a fundraiser to be established for his family so they could continue having adventures after his death. 

A spokesperson from Kendal Mountain Festival said: "The whole team here are heartbroken to hear of the loss of our friend Nils Amelinckx. 

"Nils has been a great supporter of the Festival and a stalwart of Bike Night for many years. He inspired us, moved us, made us laugh and shared the positivity that riding on two wheels can bring to us all.

"We spoke to him before the Festival this year and promised to continue his Rider Resilience legacy. Our thoughts and love goes out to his family and close friends."

Mr Amelinckx had been living with incurable stage-four bowel cancer since he was 30 and has previously had surgery at The Christie Foundation Trust in Manchester.