There has never been any question that cyclists have subjected themselves to a variety of perils.
On the road, the number one enemy (other than carelessness and inattention) is motorists. For mountain bikers, there is an endless list of hazards. Rocks, roots, trees, ruts, water, and wildlife are just a few of the big ones.
Most of my wildlife encounters have been at first startling, then a bit awe-inspiring. Rounding a corner to see a coyote or deer in the middle of the trail might have been a shock at first, but that wore off quickly, as I watched this animal looking at me with an equal amount of surprise. After all, I was the one intruding in their living room. And just like that, they were gone. One peaceful moment shared, and an awesome memory created.
Back to reality now. This past weekend, a 14 year old girl competing in a 24 hour endurance race in Alaska was mauled by a bear. I cannot begin to imagine how terrible that would be.
Let’s hope that this unnamed victim makes a complete and swift recovery.