A cyclist found lying unconscious on a Warkworth road on Saturday says his helmet saved his life.
Sandspit pensioner Alan Smith has no idea how he ended up flying off his bike and "bouncing" on the left side of his body and head before blacking out on the road.
The 72-year-old's helmet has three large cracks on it - showing the force of which Smith landed on the road. He estimated he was travelling about 30km on the flat with the wind behind him when he crashed.
"The helmet basically saved me - no question.
"That's the remarkable thing I suppose. I escaped comparatively lightly. I obviously landed on my left hand side. The left hand side of my helmet is trashed. There are three cracks right across the helmet."
While he didn't feel very lucky, Smith admitted he got off quite lightly with bruising the only physical signs of the crash.
"I've got a lot of internal bruising. My shoulder and my ribs particularly on the left-hand side is very sore when I try to move. And that's inevitable. Whatever has caused I've been moving at speed and I've come off the bike and banged my head."
Smith was 30km into his 40km bike road when he came off his bike, but the last thing he remembered was checking the 48km/h speed he was doing as he rode down the hill.
Devonport woman Sue O'Callaghan first thought he was dead when she spotted him lying on a flat stretch of road about 6km from the hill about 3pm.
But Smith had no recollection of being helped by his "good Samaritans" who called 111 and stayed with him for 20 minutes until the ambulance arrived.
"I have a complete blank space."
Although he couldn't remember any conversations they had, he was very grateful for their help and planned to get in touch to thank them.
The first memory he had after the crash was being put on a stretcher and put in the ambulance.
Smith spent two nights at North Shore Hospital and was discharged on Monday.
He said all the hospital tests showed his vitals were fine - except for having slightly low blood pressure so he is putting it down to a bike fault.
Smith was a reasonably experienced cyclist who was just easing himself back into it after winter. The last thing his wife said to him before he took off was "have a safe ride".
In the past four years he had participated in two 2200km charity ride from Bluff to Cape Reinga.
He parked his camper van just off SH1 on Woodcocks Rd to a do loop to the cemetery and return.
"I usually go with my wife but she's so busy at the moment she hasn't been able to come out with me. I think she's sort of regretting that now."
However his wife Sally had made a new rule which was if he wanted to go cycling, he had to go in a pair.
"The indications are that it wasn't a medical issue it was more the bike, but if there is the remotest chance that it is then you don't want to be cycling on your own," Smith said.