An elderly cyclist has died after a freak bike accident caused by a swooping magpie near an Illawarra beach on Sunday morning.
Witnesses reported a 76-year-old man was riding a pushbike on an off-road path that runs along the length of Woonona beach shortly after 8am when he swerved off the path to avoid a swooping magpie.
The man then collided with a fence post and was thrown to the ground, police said in a statement.
He sustained serious head injuries and was treated at the scene before being flown to St George Hospital in a critical condition.
The man died of his injuries on Sunday evening.
A police spokesman confirmed he had been wearing a helmet.
Officers from Wollongong Police District are investigating the incident, and a report will be prepared for the coroner.