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Yet more bear versus cyclist mayhem in America

It's deja vu all over again!...

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…


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