Bike rider saved by judo skills

ANGELS and judo lessons kept Don Anderson alive after he walked away from a motorbike accident near The Channon last week.

A car pulled out in front of his Suzuki GSX 1400 while he was travelling about 70km/h along Dunoon Road.

Don hit the car 'almost head-on' and was thrown off his bike.

"I got a bit of air and did a kind of judo roll," he said.

Don described how he tucked his shoulder down and rolled on to his side.

"It was instinctive, it all happened in a split second," he said

Don took judo lessons as a kid and reckons something kicked in to make him roll the way he did.

Martin Shields, a mechanic at Lismore Motorcycles, said the bike was a write-off and described Don's survival as 'a miracle'.

"I've seen a lot of accidents over the years and I've never seen anyone walk away from one like that. It's nothing short of a miracle, given the damage to his bike," Martin said.

Don walked away from the accident with only bruising to his inner legs and foot.

"I've gotten more injuries from sitting on my daughter's lounge - I get a crook back," he said laughing.

The Anderson family has a strong Christian faith and Don said his daughters had prayed for him that morning as part of their morning devotion.

"It was like the angels were looking after him," his wife Shirley said.

Don was taken to Lismore Base Hospital by ambulance.

He said when he got there hospital staff insisted he had to wear a neck brace.

"I didn't want one, but they put one on me," he said.

Don has been riding motorbikes for 40 years and doesn't plan to stop now.

In fact, Don went out looking for a new bike on the same day the accident happened.

"I've had two accidents in 40 years and neither was my fault," he said.

Don said drivers needed to take more care on the road and look out for bike riders.

"I think that with global warming there will be more pushbikes and motorbikes on the road. Car drivers just have to learn to share the road and show more patience and respect," he said.

The intersection of The Channon and Dunoon roads, where the accident happened, is known to Lismore City Council as a black spot, but Dunoon Road falls under the RTA's responsibility. The council is investigating if it can put up additional signage.

"I've been riding past that intersection for 20 years and I always slow down there," Don said.

He said he'd had the bike about two years and described it as one of the best bikes he'd ever owned.

Soon after he got it, he fulfilled a lifelong dream of riding along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

Don and his wife also said they wanted to thank the people who helped him, including the local tree loppers who put up witches hats around the accident site and directed traffic around the scene.


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