A group of Metro Vancouver mountain bikers got an unexpected workout after they were forced to outrun a black bear for more than a kilometre last week.
Brad Martyn says he was with two friends on Mount Seymour to ride some trails, and they decided to try the TNT Trail — which none of them had ridden before.
As they took a break at the trailhead, Martyn and his friends turned to see the black bear roughly 150 metres up the logging road they were standing on.
“One guy dropped in and I look back, and all of a sudden the bear is half the distance and he’s running at us,” he said.
“I said, ‘go, go, go!'”
The trio quickly rode a good distance down the trail and stopped to look behind them, only to see the bear continuing the charge.
“We just started hammering from there,” he said. “My friend looked around and said, ‘He’s right on our tails!’ We just kept trying to put some distance between us.”
After travelling more than a kilometre down the trail, the group stopped. Martyn couldn’t see anything, but then he turned back to his friends.
“I looked at my friends’ faces, and I could see that they were like, ‘Oh, shoot,'” he said. “I turned back again and that’s when the bear comes around the corner.”
As the bear continued to approach, Martyn and his friends held their bikes over their heads to make themselves appear large, prompting the bear to back off.
The group also threw things and yelled to further scare the bear off, but Martyn says the animal continued to follow them for a short time, though at a much slower pace.
It wasn’t until the friends got to a faster section of the trail that they lost sight of the bear for good.
Martyn’s GoPro was turned on the whole time, capturing the entire terrifying chase.
“He was persistent, but we don’t really know why,” he said, adding they didn’t have any food with them that would have an odour.
“If he had really wanted us, he could have caught up and got us fairly easily,” he said. I’m still not sure why he chased us. Maybe he wanted to play or something.”
The North Shore Mountain Biking Association said the bear has been seen by other riders, and is asking people to choose a different spot to ride.
“This bear is accustomed to people, and needs some space during this pre-winter period if he’s going to survive his biggest threat: humans,” the association said on social media.
The association is urging people to consult a list of closed trails in the area found here.
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