A man riding a bicycle along a forest road collided with a black bear that suddenly blocked his path and, despite the crash, he lived to tell the story of the ordeal.
Kevin Milner, 30, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, was cycling through the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Suddenly, he rounded a bend and came upon the huge animal blocking his path.
Rather than turn around, Milner decided he would try to carefully navigate around the beast, but the bear suddenly decided to cross the road and head straight for Milner’s oncoming bike.
The collision with the mountain biker saw Milner’s bike flip over onto the animal, crashing back to earth.
Kevin Milner, 30, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, collided with a black bear while riding his bike on a forest road
Milner received several injuries, including a fractured shoulder blade, contusion of the heart, and bruised ribs; the bear, on the other hand, was perfectly fine
The black bear, pictured above, suddenly crossed its path just as Milner had taken a turn and tried to avoid the animal. But the bear moved in his path and they collided
The bear, meanwhile, quickly fled into the woods.
“The second I made that decision, he decided to run and he crossed the road right in front of me and I slammed into him right behind his shoulder blade,” Milner said. News from the North Shore.
‘I did a flip on him. I practically kissed the bear and then I guess flew through the air.
Milner suffered a number of injuries, including a broken shoulder blade, contusion of the heart, and bruised ribs.
Fortunately, Milner was helped by several other cyclists who witnessed the accident.
Milner grew up in the area and regularly moved through the forest to avoid traffic – usually cars, not bears
Despite his injuries, he managed to use an e-bike to get out of the forest and reach emergency services before being rushed to hospital overnight.
Two female cyclists ran to an area with better cellphone reception to call 911, while another riding an e-bike stayed with Milner.
At one point, the bear suddenly reappeared, but this time it moved away from the group.
‘He was like, ‘Oh s***, man. He is back. The bear is back’, referring to a man who stayed with him to keep him company.
‘He was kinda looking at me, really curious, like, ‘What’s going on with you? Then the bear started eating grass. He pretty much went on with his day,” he said.
“Man, these bears are built like a truck,” Milner said. “I thought I was going to die.”
It took the emergency services some time to reach the remote location and Milner became worried about his own condition and feared he was bleeding internally.
“I feel like the whole left side of my torso went to the dentist,” Milner said.
Black bears are rarely aggressive and actual black bear attacks are rare
He convinced a fellow biker to lend him his e-bike so he could ride to the entrance to the forest.
British Columbia Ambulance Service paramedics met Milner at the edge of the forest and transported him to Lions Gate Hospital.
Milner, who grew up in the area, seemed relieved to have managed to survive the ordeal, describing it as a quintessentially Canadian and North Vancouver experience.
He says he now plans to take his bike ride from traversing the scenic Seymour Valley Trailway to a route where cars are present – where at least there aren’t any black bears to block his path.
‘The reason I rode in the demo forest is just to get away from traffic, right? But after hitting the bear, I mean, it’s probably safer to ride with cars.
“I’m really, really happy to be alive. It’s like the most Canadian thing in North Vancouver that can happen,” Milner said.