Talk about bad news bears.
A Canadian man T-boned a black bear while biking through a conservation reserve — suffering a fractured scapula, cardiac contusion and bruised ribs, among other injuries.
Kevin Milner, 30, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, was rounding a corner and heading downhill in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve there Tuesday when he spotted the bear — and tried to cruise around him.
“The second I made that decision, he decided to run and he ran right across the road, right in front of me and I smashed into him right behind his shoulder blade,” Milner told North Shore News.
“I did a flip over him. I pretty much kissed the bear and then I guess I flew through the air.”
Milner landed hard on his side, while the bear took off through the woods.
Passing cyclists immediately stopped and helped him. Two women cyclists concerned about his condition rode toward the edge of the reserve to get enough cell reception to call 911, while a third bystander who had been riding an e-bike stayed with Milner.
But the next arrival wasn’t an ambulance or EMS — it was the same bear Milner had just plowed into.
“He was like, ‘Oh s**t, dude. He’s back. The bear’s back,’” Milner said of remarks from the man keeping him company while help was on the way.
“Man, those bears are built like a truck,” Milner told the news outlet. “I thought I was going to die.”
The bear, however, seemed unfazed by the bystanders tending to Milner, he said.
“He was kind of looking at me, really curious, kind of like, ‘What’s up with you?’” he recalled. “Then the bear just started eating grass. He pretty much just carried on with his day.”
As the minutes passed and his adrenaline began wearing off, Milner said he became impatient waiting for help, noting he was spitting up blood and worried he may have suffered internal bleeding. He said he also couldn’t lift his leg, let alone walk.
Milner said he convinced the bystander to lend him his e-bike and help him ride to the entrance of the forest. While they were leaving, he passed the young women who were trying to call 911 for him.
B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics met him at the edge of the woods and took him to Lions Gate Hospital, where he was kept overnight for treatment. He suffered a fractured scapula, cardiac contusion, bruised ribs, road rash and numbness as a result of the tumble.
“It feels like the whole left side of my torso went to the dentist,” he said.
Milner, who has ridden his bike along the Seymour Valley Trailway his whole life, says his commute will likely change following the crash.
“The reason I rode in the demonstration forest is just to get away from the traffic, right?” he said. “But after hitting the bear, I mean, it’s probably safer just riding with cars.”
“I’m just really, really glad to be alive,” he added. “It’s like the most Canadian, North Vancouver thing that could ever happen.”
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