In urban areas, cyclists need to watch out for cars. But in more rural places, there are other dangers. 57-year-old Jim Litz, a science teacher in Missoula, Montana, learned this when he t-boned a black bear while riding his bike to work. Read on for the details.“I was lucky. I was truly lucky”
He was traveling about 25 mph when he came upon a rise and spotted a black bear about 10 feet in front of him. “I didn’t have time to respond. I never even hit my brakes,” Litz said.
He tumbled over his handlebars, planting his helmeted head on the bruin’s back, and man and beast went cartwheeling down the road. The bear rolled over Litz’s head, and its mass cracked his helmet. As the duo toppled over one another, the bear clawed at Litz’s cycling jacket, scratching his flesh from shoulder to buttocks before scampering up a hill above the road, where it stopped and whined.
Litz’s wife drove by soon after and took her husband to Community Medical Center, and he immediately called Fish, Wildlife and Parks to report the unusual collision. Game wardens told him they didn’t think the animal was seriously injured, but was more likely suffering from some bruised ribs – just like Litz.
“I was lucky. I was truly lucky, because I accosted the bear and he let me live,” Litz said. “I truly respect them. They’re beautiful creatures.”
by: Michael Graham Richard
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