An UnBEARable Day

Ok, so the title is a lie. My day is going fine. But I needed a good lead-in to this story. 2 days ago, my station aired a story about a guy in Colorado who was riding his bike and collided with a bear. Here is the story via a Boulder news station:

BOULDER - A bicyclist had a high-speed collision with a black bear Tuesday afternoon while riding down Old Stagecoach Road. It's an encounter they'll both remember.

Boulder resident Tim Egan, 53, is training for the Triple Bypass Bike Race. He and his nephew estimate they were traveling at about 45 miles per hour on the hill just west of Boulder. Neither one could believe what happened.

"I saw a blur and thought to myself, 'Big dog.' Then just as I was hitting it, I saw this gigantic bear head with huge teeth. He was surprised to see me and I was surprised to see him. It was almost like a cartoon when we collided," Egan said.

Egan and his bike were thrown through the air. Egan's breath was knocked out and he was afraid he'd broken his back. He couldn't move for several minutes. His nephew pulled up on the scene just seconds later and told him the bear was still there.

"I remember thinking to myself, 'I'm alive, but the bear's here. Oh, this is bad.' I mean, this bear was as high as my waist. He was extremely well-fed and a big guy. And he wasn't happy. He looked at me and he opened his mouth," said Egan.

Egan's nephew says the bear raised up onto his back legs. "He wasn't leaving the scene," said Egan.

Eventually, though, the bear sauntered off into the woods, apparently uninjured. Egan, though, was bleeding profusely and his bike was bent. He and his nephew got it straightened out and rode to Boulder Community Hospital.

One longtime homeowner on Old Stagecoach Road confirmed there's been a very large bear in the neighborhood over the past few days. Jerry Dancy also says he's surprised bicyclists aren't killed as they race down the hill.

"We've got bears, we've got lots of deer that dart across the road. It's very dangerous for bicyclists," said Dancy.

While Egan had to go to the hospital, he doesn't think the bear had any problems.

"I don't think I could have hurt him," said Egan. "It was literally like running into a brick wall. I'm glad my nephew was here, or nobody would have believed me. I told him, 'I demand that this story be told at my funeral, because it'll get a laugh out of everyone.'"

Haha. I got a kick out of this story. Thank goodness I live in Illinois and bears are uncommon. Although, if I did come across one, I would only be going about 12 mph, so I'd have far more time to process what was happening and come to a stop (immediately followed by a quick getaway in the opposite direction!).

Not to be the 'crazy animal lady', but I can't imagine what the bear must have thought about the whole situation. Even if he was big, it still must've hurt pretty bad.

Here is another photo of a bear... just because it's so darn cute...


In lue of dragging my lazy butt to the Y this morning, I drove over to the only other bike shop in the area. A little bit further away-- but worth it because it had a good selection.

My first trip to the bike store resulted in road bikes costing over $1000 each. This trip was far more successful. I told the sales girl that I knew nothing about road bikes... that I didn't want to spend a lot... and that I'm, relatively speaking, a beginner.

She showed me the Trek 1000 WSD.

It's one of the cheapest brand-name road bikes on the market. Plus, it's specifically designed for women (whereas most bikes are mens' or unisex).

I was well prepared. I had gone online and looked up the bikes that this store had in stock and saw this was the cheapest. I knew she would show it to me. I googled it and found reviews. Problem is, the reviews were all mixed...

"Cannot do sharp turns very easily. Foot hits the wheel when turning sharply."

"I am 5'9" and the bike fits me wonderfully. It is a great starter bike and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to start cycling."

"The blue paint chips very easily, my foot hits the front wheel when I turn sharp corners."

"I am quite satisfied with my new and first road bike. "

"One problem is the fact that I can not do full or fast Uturns, my foot hits the front wheel depending on what stage of pedalling I am on. "

It seems that everyone had the same problem with the sharp turns. So I took it out for a short ride. I regret not dressing appropriately. I was wearing jeans and they were getting caught in the gears when I pedalled. I eventually gave up on looking normal and rolled them up to my knees.

It was hard to get going using the pedals with straps on them.

If I tried to put both my feet in the straps too early, I fell over. But if I waited too long, then the straps dragged on the ground. Definitely something to get used to.

I didn't notice the problem with sharp turns... but then... I didn't make any sharp turns. I could envision the problem arising, though. If I return, I'll need to look into that.

Overall, it felt good. It felt light. It felt fast. Generally, I enjoyed it.

I test rode one other similar bike, but it didn't fit as well. The Trek 1000 WSD goes for somewhere in the $600's (I can't remember exactly). I'm still not sure whether I'm going to go the new or used route. I sent 2 more emails to people on craigslist. We'll see how this all turns out.

1 comment:

Rainmaker said...

Ouch, glad to see that I avoided both bears yesterday...that would have not been ideal.

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