This bicyclist may have turned into bear food had it not been for these drivers.
A touring bicyclist was slowly making his way up a long incline outside of Calgary, Canada, when, unbeknownst to him, a grizzly bear appeared and began to give chase. It seems likely the cyclist would've been in for a severe bear mauling, were it not for the quick actions of a couple pickup truck drivers.
Robbie Flemming was one of those drivers. He'd been driving from Calgary to Radium when he saw the cyclist.
"All of a sudden, I see a young grizzly jump over the Banff-bound guardrail in front of a tour bus and go loping across the highway," Flemming said. "As he gets into my lane, he stands up on his back feet, and I'm sure he can smell that cyclist coming for a bit, and I'm sure he had visions of supper."
"It was very surreal," he recalled. "My first concern was that I was going to hit the bear. And then I realized I wasn't going to hit the bear and then, 'OK, he's after that cyclist.'"
Flemming realized the cyclist wouldn't be able to outrun the bear at his speed. And, at this point, the rider didn't even realize what was happening, so Flemming began laying on his horn to try to get the cyclist's and the bear's attention.
"Finally he looked over at me and I said, 'You've got a grizzly bear about 25 feet behind you.' He looked back and went, 'Oh' and started to pound on the pedals."
Cassie Beyer and her husband Donald Poster were in a vehicle going the opposite direction in the midst of all this.
"He saw the cyclist, we were going down, he was coming uphill and the bear was chasing him," Beyer said. "It looked like the bear was after the cyclist. His head was turned, he was looking back, he knew the bear was back there."
Beyer took photos of the incident, which went viral on social media.
Flemming and another driver pulled their vehicles in front of the bear, creating a barrier between the cyclist and the bruin. Once the rider had gained a safe amount of distance, he turned and gave Flemming a thumbs-up and continued on.
The bear, obviously a little confused by the actions of the drivers, eventually loped back into the bush.
Were it not for the actions of the pickup truck drivers, this close encounter might've ended differently. Flemming noted that he thought the bear seemed lean and was probably desperate. That makes sense, given that it was brazen enough to chase after a cyclist on a main Canadian highway.
All images by Cassie Beyer
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his Facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.
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