Regular walkers on a popular Lake Macquarie area shared path are imploring cyclists to take more care in the era of social distancing, after a bike crashed into a woman in her 70s sending her to hospital on Easter Sunday morning.
Joanne, 71, was walking with her friend Anne along the path between Swansea and Blackmiths when a cyclist collided with her.
The pair - who asked for their surnames not to be published - wanted to tell their story in the hope that bike riders watch their speed and use a bell when approaching pedestrians to avoid further injuries to walkers.
Anne, who spoke to the Newcastle Herald on her friend's behalf, said they had been walking spread further apart than usual in an effort to maintain social distancing when she turned and saw the cyclist approaching at speed from behind.
She said she called to warn Joanne, who veered to the right to get off the path - but the bike veered the same way and the crash occurred.
"It was just too fast," Anne said.
"When he hit her, she went up in the air and fell back and hit her head on that concrete.
"She was lucky she didn't split her head - how she didn't split her head, I don't know."
Passers-by - including a doctor who was out for a stroll with her child - stopped to help.
Anne said the cyclist left the scene without asking whether her friend was OK - she said the rider blamed Joanne for being on the wrong side of the path.
"If people would ring their bell or yell out, fine. But half the time they don't and they just scream through," she said.
"There's a lot of kids there. We're in our 70s and there's a lot of older people who walk there. It's not a road."
Blacksmiths resident Annette Marsden, who arrived at the scene with her husband seconds after the crash, said fast bikes that did not give warning of their approach presented a frequent problem to pedestrians on the shared path.
"That poor lady got hit full-force - her head hit that path pretty bad," she said.
"They don't use their bells, they just come flying up behind you. If they haven't got a bell on these racing bikes, they should just yell 'bike passing'.
"You've got to constantly look behind you to see who's coming because they don't notify you.
"It's just a shame because it's a beautiful walk along the channel there."
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