Canadian Cyclist Crashes Into Bear: "I Thought I Was Going to Die"

A Canadian man is counting his blessings after surviving run-in with a black bear on his bicycle last week.

Kevin Milner, 30, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered multiple injuries in the crash, including a fractured scapula, cardiac contusion, and bruised ribs. Milner was riding his bike in the early evening Tuesday, May 16 on the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve when he encountered the bear in the road. He had to choose between hitting the brakes or attempting to avoid the black bear, and his first instinct was to veer around the large animal.

"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 soared and then took a hard fall onto the paved road, at which point other cyclists stopped to help. About 15 minutes later the bear returned, totally unfazed.

"Man, those bears are built like a truck," Milner said. "I thought I was going to die." But the bear hadn't come back for a fight.

"He was kind of looking at me, really curious, kind of like, 'What's up with you?' Milner said. "Then the bear just started eating grass. He pretty much just carried on with his day."

Eventually, Milner grew impatient waiting for help to arrive. He borrowed a bystander's e-bike and rode out to the entrance of the forest, where he met up with paramedics.

Emily Milner Photos

"It feels like the whole left side of my torso went to the dentist," he said. The crash and resulting injuries have the cyclist considering a change to his normal route.

"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. It's like the most Canadian, North Vancouver thing that could ever happen."

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