Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bicycling hazard in Anchorage

Sean Berkey was riding across town to work when he was attacked by a female brown bear. Story HERE.

My understanding is that the difference between a brown bear and a grizzly bear is just a matter of scale. The experts believe this was a mama bear with her cub. Berkey tried to put his bike between himself and the bear - sounds pretty instinctive - but the bear was not dissuaded. She slapped him around a little, and it sounds like she bit him on the leg. Then HE PLAYED DEAD. Apparently that's the best course of action unless you can really ride fast!! The bear lost interest and left.

The fish & game people wanted to close the area where the attack occurred. The city just put up warning signs, encouraging folks to proceed with caution.

Yeah... that would add some excitement to the morning commute, huh?


Scott said...

Wow! That makes my morningly sighting of our neighborhood fox seem pretty tame by comparison.

Let's see which I'd rather face, mamma bear with a cub, or a driver on a cell phone...

Michael Carpenter said...

I think I've read that bears can run up to 30 mph over short distances. I don't know about you, but I can't ride my bike that fast. Moral of the story: play dead for brown and grizzly bears. (FYI, you should fight back against a black bear.)

Bikeboy said...

Michael - maybe you COULD ride 30mph, with the additional motivational factor of a mama bear on your tailend!!

And of course, if you're with a group, you don't need to be able to ride 30... just faster than at least one person in the group! (A little black humor there...)