STRANGER KINDNESS: When journalist Alison Paterson was in a crash, total strangers came to her aid. File photo supplied.
STRANGER KINDNESS: When journalist Alison Paterson was in a crash, total strangers came to her aid. File photo supplied. Supplied

Kindness of strangers gives hope

CRASHING your bicycle is a great litmus test to confirm the inner goodness of people in your community.

Recently there's been some tragic incidents involving cyclists in our region.

The amazing assistance provided people who were passing as well as volunteer and career emergency crews is always heartening.

Yes, for some of them it;'s their job, but they are so kind as well as professional.

It's a wonderful balance to all the anger out there on the roads.

Now I reckon 99.99 per cent of Northern Rivers drivers are good and courteous to their two-wheel road users.

But I'm sure I'm the only one to notice how angry too many drivers seem to be.

Always in a hurry, speeding through school zones, desperate cut any delay from their journey.

I don't know if this due to everyone worried about the cost of living, getting or keepign their job, mortgages, rents, food and bills going through the roof .

Or the general despair of politicians who seem to be giving tax breaks to the very rich while around us we see such social injustice.

But what has always given my hope is the kindness of people who rush to the aid of those who need assistance.

Last year I was cycling to work, I'd just halted at a stop sign at an intersection and exchanged a few words with a Jo, a work colleague who happened to be walking work that day.

Thank heavens.

Because a moment later I clicked my left foot into the pedal and the next thing there was a huge bang.

I was struck by a car and hurled across the road into the opposite lane, where for the grace of who knows what, there was no oncoming traffic.

My colleague heard the crash and was at my side while passing motorists and pedestrians also came to my aid.

Someone called an ambulance, someone else found my phone and called my husband.

All the while Jo whom I really only knew to say "hello" to, stayed by my side and held my hand.

People, strangers, stopped and helped.

They pulled over and parked their cars, ran from their homes and helped.

They picked up my broken bike, comforted the devastated driver, did what they could.

Without asking, they helped me.

I don't remember anything, just a few flashes.

Jo was there the whole time, looking after me, talking to those who had stopped to help including an off-duty paramedic, doctor and two nurses.

Apparently, I was talking but making no sense.

Later I heard that when in the ambulance I asked the paramedics not to cut open my new cycling top while they patched me up..

By the time my husband Allan turned up there was only a police car and a road bike in several pieces to indicate I'd even been there.

Jo had waited for him to arrive and then accompanied him to the ER.

Another work colleague heard about the crash on the police radio and when she heard the words "female cyclist" feared the worst and checked up.

Later she brought flowers into the hospital.

My boss the editor told me to take off as much time as I needed and colleagues sent cards and good wishes for a speedy recovery.

My neighbour offered to help us out with shopping.

The local cycling community sent me messages of support.

Now nearly 10 months later, I still can't recall anything about that day and the two or three which followed.

But what I do recall is how kind everyone was and how people I didn't know simple saw someone in need and raced to help.

When I hear of cyclists and drivers arguing the toss for who has the right to use the road, I think of these kind strangers.

Thank you.