Yet more bear versus cyclist mayhem in America

It's deja vu all over again!

by Mark Appleton   July 15, 2011  

Brown Bear.jpg

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One bear-strikes-cyclist story in a week is odd, two is getting faintly ridiculous.

But amazingly it has happened again, this time in California’s Sierra National Forest near Fresno.

The Sacrameto Bee reports that 61-year-old Jon Woodard was out for a ride on  Dinkey Creek Road near Shaver Lake in the mid-California Sierra Nevada mountains on July 5 when he and the bear had a brief encounter.

"I saw something brown out of the side of my eye, and it was over," said Jon. "I remember a loud noise, then going over the handlebars."

The "something brown" was a 300-pound brown bear and Jon, not surprisingly took quite a tumble, landing on his back, suffering road rash and bruising and putting a dent in his helmet. His bike was damaged beyond repair in the impact.

The bear meanwhile, just like its Floridian cousin, didn’t hang about to exchange insurance details, but took off into the forest.

Also like the Florida incident, there were motorists on hand to witness the unlikely ursine-velocipedal contretemps. Brooks Sternberg, who was driving with his family  behind the rider, said: "The bear just froze. I think it was just as shocked as Jon."

The Sternbergs helped Jon pick up the pieces of his Specialized bike's carbon frame - which had sheared in two - and gave him a lift back to the campsite where he was staying.

A week after the incident Jon told the Bee that he is thankful neither he, nor apparently the bear, was more seriously injured. "I'm very, very lucky but also very unlucky," he said. "I doubt anyone up here has ever hit a bear on a bike - or been hit by one."

Well, maybe not exactly there, Jon…

 

8 user comments

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Quote:
and Jon, not surprisingly took quite a tumble, landing on his back, suffering road rash and bruising

Bearly a scratch... His bike came off worse.

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
15th July 2011 - 17:33

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If he'd been on a steel or alloy bike it would probably have survived the impact. Carbon, on the other hand....

Another reason why real cyclists eschew carbon.

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
15th July 2011 - 18:02

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Absolutely! Even though I cycle mainly in the NW (UK not Pacific) and Spain I ride a titanium frame - primarily with bears in mind. Chinese plastic is easily shredded and as I say to my kids when walking in the Lancashire woods - just because you've never see a bear doesn't mean they aren't there...

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1093 posts]
15th July 2011 - 21:42

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I prefer a chromo steel frame or an aluminium one. Not many bears round here in S London but there are crazy car drivers and the occasional bullet to dodge. No frame would provide protection to that last. Carbon vrames aren't as unpredictable as they used to be. The only carbon fibre component I have is a seat post though.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
15th July 2011 - 21:59

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OldRidgeback wrote:
Not many bears round here in S London. The only carbon fibre component I have is a seat post though.

And the face mask and shield obliviously Wink

Cervelo S1, Zipp 404, SRAM Rival/Force, Rotor crankset and Vittoria.

stuartpeck1's picture

posted by stuartpeck1 [98 posts]
15th July 2011 - 23:05

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And

had he not been on a carbon he would have been at least a mile down the road, so would not have even seen the bear...

Kev Foulds

Cycling Nutter

Kevin Foulds's picture

posted by Kevin Foulds [8 posts]
16th July 2011 - 7:01

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Bear Tax..!

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
16th July 2011 - 12:28

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Just spent a few weeks riding from Canada to Mexico down The Rockies and did not see a single bear! Many other racers did but my $3 bell I bought scared the blighters silly.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [449 posts]
16th July 2011 - 20:42

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