Tag Archives: bike

I braced myself for the impact…

Earlier this year, second year student Victoria was in a hurry to get to a lecture on time – she knew she was cutting it fine. Here she talks about why she didn’t make it to the lecture at all…

The lecture was about to start and I knew how long it would take me to bike to Ilam campus from Avonhead. I biked past Dovedale campus and then along Ilam Fields. As I got to the Ilam Road crossing I saw a car coming, which I thought would stop for the crossing. I slowed but didn’t stop and entered the crossing.

Pretty much as soon as I entered the crossing I knew the car hadn’t slowed down enough to stop. I was the only one on the crossing and I remember the car vividly, it was coming towards me and it was getting so close, freakishly close. I knew the car was going to hit me.

The impact
I don’t really remember the car hitting me, but I remember lying on my back on the ground and feeling my legs tingling and an odd sensation. I felt extremely winded and could feel pressure on my left side. Security staff told me later that I had jammed on my brakes, put my foot down and I braced myself for the impact.

I was hit on the crossing but landed a few metres away on the road. I was just taken along with the car as it was moving. I was wearing my helmet – so glad that I did. A whole chunk of it broke off. The ambulance guys told me if I hadn’t been wearing it, I would have been knocked out.

It happened so quickly – in a couple of seconds. I was lucky there wasn’t a car coming from the other direction. I just lay on the ground for a couple of minutes afterwards and closed my eyes – possibly in denial! I think I was in shock. I think the driver who hit me was in shock too.

The aftermath  
Heaps of people came to help me, and the security team were really fast at calling an ambulance and getting all my stuff together.

I had bruising on my ribs from where the car hit me, and bruises and cuts from the road on my legs – I was lucky. Because I was on a bike I was elevated, if I was a pedestrian I would have been bowled over.

I sent a text to my friend afterwards and told her what had happened. As you can imagine I got a quick reply. She took me home – driving very cautiously! I never did get to the lecture. 

My ribs took the longest to heal, they took most of the impact and were quite uncomfortable for a while. I think it took me a week to understand everything that had happened.

Think first
I’m definitely more cautious now and a lot more aware of what’s happening around me. I don’t take the same risks, it’s just not worth it – it’s better to be a couple of minutes late and to get there safely in one piece.

If you do take a risk you’re putting yourself and other people in a vulnerable position. You’ve got to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Imagine being the driver, they don’t want to hit a cyclist or pedestrian just as much as you don’t want to be hit.  

Below: the damage to Victoria’s bike helmet. 

Bike lights are compulsory at night

Did you know that bike lights are compulsory at night or at times where visibility is low? That means in fog or even a rainy day too.bike-313199_1920
Thanks to the NZTA, here’s a list of compulsory items required on a bike.

At all times:

  1. A red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it.
  2. Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the cycle was made before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).

When cycling at night or when visibility is poor, cycles must have the following:

  1. One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.
  2. One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.
  3. Pedal retro-reflectors on the forward and rearward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these, you must wear reflective material.

Interested in knowing more? Check out the optional items here and don’t forget your helmet.

UC Sustainability has more tips on riding around campus.

Join the Aotearoa Bike Challenge

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge begins on 1 February and is designed to get more people riding bicycles.

Anyone who rides a bike for at least 10 minutes during February can be part of the Challenge.

The Challenge includes tailored guidance and tips, a friendly workplace competition, and lots of great prizes on offer,

Join today the University of Canterbury challenge team now and have your cycling counted  for our organisation.

Join here

Bike security alert

There have been a number of bikes stolen from various locations throughout the University in the past six  weeks. We have employed additional security staff to patrol the bike stands that have been targeted by the thieves and have been working with NZ Police to try and identify these offenders.

I would ask that all students and staff secure their bikes to the bike racks by the rear wheel and frame with a good quality D lock, and if they see anything suspicious in and around the University to contact the security helpdesk immediately on 0800 823 637 or extension  6111.Bike lock

Go By Bike Day is coming! (Wednesday 10 February)

To celebrate “Go By Bike Day” Cantabrians are being asked to leave their cars at home and cycle to work or school on 10 February.

Between 7am-9am the Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch City Council, CPIT and others will host cycle-celebration stations along our city’s most popular cycle routes.

Stations will be set up at in North Hagley Park, close to the new signalized cycle crossing  from Deans Ave to Matai Street East, Antigua Boatsheds bridge, outside Community and Public Health on Manchester Street, and at the Madras and St Asaph street corner of CPIT.


All cycle celebration stations will give away healthy breakfast snacks  and cycle-related goodies from Bike Wise. At North Hagley park cyclists can also get their bikes checked by a mechanic and trial an e-bike.

Cycling for just 15 minutes will help you to wake up in the morning and wind down in the evening after work. It makes you fitter, healthier and more productive. And cycling helps to reduce green-house gas emissions from your car, so you (and thousands of other cyclists) are doing your bit towards addressing climate change.  So have a go at ticking all those boxes on February the 10th!