Last year at Deep Creek, someone famously just missed crashing into a bear on the road. Which bears asking, What should one do in such a situation?
It’s well known one can’t outrun a bear. Can one outbike one?
Under such circumstances, should one climb a tree? Would bike shoes be a help or hindrance in such an eventuality? Bike gloves?
If spotting a bear, should one place the potentially bear-alluring contents of one’s Bento box high up in a tree?
If frisked by a bear, should one play dead? (This might be easy after coming up one of the steep climbs.)
One suspects one should always wear a helmet when encountering a bear, correct?
And, is it wise to never put one’s Cervelo between a momma bear and her cubs?
Ha, all very good questions and you would be surprised by some of the answers...
You should never try and outpace a bear...this goes for trying to out ride a bear. They will catch you, and then probabaly eat you. Black bears are the quickest bears and average between 30 and 40 mph on a dead run.
You should never try to outclimb a bear...you will lose. Black bears are excellent climbers.
I would not try to place your bento box contents in a tree either unless its suspended by a rope at least 10' feet off the ground and 8' away from the tree trunk.
And whatever you do, don't get between ole' mama bear and her cubs, it never ends well...
Based on my hiking experience on the AT, its best to stand your ground and make a lot of noise. Some people carry bear spray but I usually just carry a whistle and blow on it when I see a bear.
Ed - you missed the key scenario. What does one do when heading down hill at 40+mph and the bear is laying down in the middle of the road in front of you? Making lots of noise is very easy. Standing your ground a little more difficult. ;-)
Ok ok here is or was my game plan. Find the nearest cliff and head for it. You should make a sound like goofy as you fly off the cliff. Hopefully you will land on something soft like a tree and your friends will take great photos.
Extra points for doing a full front flip 180 over your handlebars...
Also, don't forget to have your camera with you so that you can get those photos of your friends looking over the cliff convinced that you have just fallen to your death.
Michelle, are they making fun of you? :-)
If they are, I'm certainly not the only one being made fun of. :-)
If anyone wants the photos from last year. I have them. although I didn't get a video of the bear crossing. I was behind and say Michelle's awesome bike handling skills when it happened. Now for Glenn's tripple flip with a twist, I believe the Judges gave him a 8 because the form was off, but he stuck the landing perfect on the log.
The proven and virtually fool-proof bicycle/bear interaction strategy is simple: go faster than the other rider(s) with you. You may not be able to outrun or out-pedal a bear, but you can certainly outrun and out-ride your erstwhile companion(s).
For those of us who are too slow to use Gary's strategy, I suggest hiding sandwiches in the other riders' pockets. If a bear will drive a car for a sandwich, I'm sure he'll ignore you to find rider with the sandwich.