Posted by: Huw Thomas | March 11, 2011

Slow motion crunch

Yesterday we were hit by a truck. Luckily, it all happened at low speeds and Carolyn and I got away with only a few minor bruises and scrapes. Unfortunately, our bike came off worse – the rear wheel was badly buckled and is going to have to be rebuilt.

We were about 10 miles out of Noosa when it happened. A truck pulled up to a side road on our left. Because it was slowing – and we had right of way – I assumed it was going to stop. It was only as we were literally passing in front of it that we realised it wasn’t stopping.

We were knocked sideways. Fortunately our rear panniers took the main impact but our rear wheel was bent out of shape as we were forced down. Ironically, we were riding in a nice wide, clearly-marked cycle lane at the time.

A passing witness called the ambulance (thankfully not needed) and the police – who after interviewing both parties handed the truck driver an infringement notice on the spot. To be fair, he did ‘fess up and admit that he was to fault.

As you can imagine, this did kind of spoil our plans for the day. We’d intended riding about 50 miles to Gympie but I had to call our host Tim, from the Gympie-Cooloola Rotary Club, who very kindly came and picked up us and our unrideable tandem.

The rear wheel after being bent by a truck

We then took the bike to the wonderful Dave Phillips from Pedal Power in Gympie – who has not only organised for a new rim to be sent up to Hervey Bay (as the wheel will need to be rebuilt) but also carefully adjusted our spokes so the wheel should carry us for the next few days.

L: With Dave Phillips and that wheel. M: Our host Tim with visiting kookaburra. R: Carolyn with the Gympie Times featuring our story.

However, the day did end on a high. We gave a presentation to a joint meeting of the two Gympie Rotary Clubs. Afterwards one of the Gympie members got the opportunity to win just over $1,600 if he drew the joker from a pack of cards. Before drawing, he said he’d donate the money to ShelterBox if he won… Guess what? He did!



  1. Good to know you survived a knock down. These things always make for good stories in the end. And what a way to end the day…..a $1600 donation to SB! I hope all 3 of you recover quickly so you can continue on your merry way!

  2. sorry to hear of the accident, but delighted to hear about the joker! Our son was hit by a right turning vehicle while on his bike in Vancouver July 08. He was unconscious at the scene and broke his wrist, but recovered within the year with physio. Glad you were spared that particular nightmare! 3 Cheers for excellent bike repair folks!

  3. Ouch! Am more than a little relieved to hear that it’s only a few minor bruises that you’ve got to contend with. I imagine the moment you realised the truck was still moving was a bit heart stopping but thank goodness it was all at slow speed and at least your bike is easier to fix. Are you sure astronaut costume making doesn’t appeal?!! Great news about the donation – a nice end to a not so nice day. Take care of yourselves.

  4. And I thought the narrow roads of NZ were dangerous! Good to hear you are both OK.

    • As ever, it’s not the roads that are the problem but the people on them!

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