15 Sep 2008

Get the Geezers Off Those Bikes

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Is there any sight more ridiculous than some aging baby boomer peddling away in his spandex outfit and insectoid helmet on a bicycle? Bicycles are alright for small boys to use on paper routes or to get to the park to play baseball, but their use as a fitness tool by aging hippies is unseemly and undignified and only results in inconvenience to motorists and unnecessary accidents.

Not even the bears in the Rocky Mountain West are safe these days.

Last Thursday, UPI reports:

A 57-year-old man in Missoula, Mont., says he is lucky to be alive after accidentally crashing his bicycle into the side of a wild bear.

Middle school teacher Jim Litz said while he is no stranger to seeing bears during his daily commute along an area dirt road, this week he didn’t’ have time to avoid one of the wild animals that had wandered into his way, The (Missoula, Mont.) Missoulian said Thursday.

“I didn’t have time to respond. I never even hit my brakes,” Litz said of Monday’s accident.

The teacher said after the impact flipped him off his bike, the bear began clawing at him apparently in confusion and anger. That attack left Litz with scratches and bruises along most of his body.

While Litz admits to being sore and a bit clawed up following the unexpected crash, he says he is lucky to have survived the incident and holds no ill will toward the animal.

“I was lucky. I was truly lucky, because I accosted the bear and he let me live,” he told the Missoulian. “I truly respect them. They’re beautiful creatures.”

That bear may be “a beautiful creature,” but a spindle-shanked, potbellied goofball in day-glo spandex certainly is not.

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Last June, there was another incident of the same kind in Colorado, as the Rocky Mountain News reports:

A cyclist in Boulder County was injured after a run-in, literally, with a bear.

Tim Egan, 53, was riding on Old Stage Road Tuesday afternoon when suddenly a bear appeared in front of him. Egan hit the bear and ended up skidding across the road.

“This bear looked at me with a look of terror on his face and sort of made a noise,” said Egan. “I looked at him with a look of terror and we went, ‘aaaahhhhh.'”

He cracked some ribs, suffered cuts on his head and had road rash. Egan said he and the bike flipped and flew over the bear, hitting the pavement hard.

The bear ran away after the accident when a deer appeared.

Egan’s nephew ran to help the injured cyclist.

“When I tell people, they say ‘Right, are you kidding me, who hits a bear?'”

Egan estimated he was going about 45 miles per hour at impact. He said the bear was about 6 feet tall and probably weighed 500 pounds.

When are these bears going to wise up? A fully-digested bicyclist is a safe bicyclist, I always say.

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

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