Tuesday, July 1, 2008

there's animals in the forest

I use to live in Boulder and we would do these epic back country rides up near Nederland. The morning would start at 8am at the Bus Depot. Put our bikes underneath in storage, pay the $2.50 and get a 30min ride from 5000' to 8000'. It was a minimum 30 mile ride back to Boulder, but we always were searching for new trails. Getting lost, doing circles, finding ourselves in gulches that the only way out was bike a hike. So it always ended up being more.

We often came across things you wouldn't expect. One of our favorite starting points was "red caboose", a trail that had a red caboose deep in the forest, over grown. How did it get there? No rails to be seen. We rode into a nudist colony at the bottom of a gulch. I remember the trail being unbelievable and high fiving the riding buddies at the bottom only realize we were being "watched". The closest I've come to an animal that was dangerous was a mountain lion and I didn't even see it. I rode past it in deep concentration of the trail that laid ahead. I stopped when I heard some yelling from behind, thinking it was a flat I stopped an waited. I could see up the trail far enough to see my buddy's bike above his head yelling into the trees. I guess the mountain lion was no more than 2' off the trail.

There was a mountain lion that attacked a couple here in california a year or so ago, but other than that in the last 15 years of mountain biking I haven't heard of any animals really attacking cyclists. I'm sure they happen, but it's rare. Less than an shark bite I would suspect. Down deep on the cyclingnews website I read this story of a girl in alaska being attacked by a bear. Our hearts our with her.

Teenage mountain biker mauled by bear

By Mark Appleton,

A teenaged girl competing in a 24-hour mountain bike event near Anchorage, Alaska has been critically injured in a bear attack. The animal, believed to have been a female Grizzly, struck in darkness at around 1.30am in the town's Bicentennial Park yesterday morning, leaving the un-named victim with bite injuries to her head, torso and thigh as well as a "sucking chest wound." The latter typically occurs when an object penetrates the body and punctures the lung cavity.

Medics, accompanied by shotgun-carrying police officers, entered the park to retrieve the rider. According to the Alaska Daily News, she was found by Peter Basinger, a fellow competitor on the Arctic Bicycle Club event which began at noon local time on Saturday, using an 8 mile loop of groomed trails. Basinger is said to have waited with the girl until rescuers trekked the half mile into the forested park to reach them before she was stretchered back to a waiting ambulance.

The teen, who according to some reports is just 14 years-old, underwent surgery at the Providence Alaska Medical Center and is expected to survive according a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Fire Department.

1 comment:

Somchai said...

A cat grabbed a kid from right next to his dad on Flagstaff a couple years ago. Some people suggest the area above bldr has the highest concentrations around due to high numbers of deer.