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Cyclist collides with black bear on popular B.C. trail


Cyclist Kevin Milner loves to ride the paved Seymour Demonstration Forest trail in North Vancouver to get away from cars and into nature.

“There are a lot of deer in there, and I thought maybe one day I will hit deer, right? But never thought it would be a bear,” said Milner.

That’s exactly what happened on Tuesday evening. After rounding a corner, Milner spotted a black bear and before he could react, the animal ran directly in front of his bike.

“I just smacked right into him. And I went flying overtop of him,” said Milner, whose shoes were clipped into his bike pedals.

He lay badly injured on the trail for a few minutes until another cyclist named Sam rode up on his E-bike.

“He asked me what happened. I was obviously in a lot of pain, and I told him, 'I just hit a bear.' And he was like, 'Where’s the bear? Where’s the bear?' He was concerned about the bear. I said, 'I don’t know, he ran off, but you have to call 911, I need an ambulance,'” said Milner.

Sam stayed with the injured 30-year-old while two women went off in search of a cell signal to call 911. But while the men were waiting for help, the bear came back.

“He’s kind of looking over at us and sniffing the air, kind of curious and pacing around, he’s not really sure if he’s going to come forward or come back, he just seemed really curious. And Sam started yelling at the bear to scare him off. And after that, I got a huge kick of adrenaline,” said Milner.

With the bear lurking nearby and his injuries serious, Milner decided he couldn’t wait for help. So he asked if he could borrow the e-bike. Sam helped him get his legs over the frame and his one working arm onto the handlebar, and Milner was able to ride it to the parking lot to wait for an ambulance.

At Lions Gate Hospital, where Milner was treated for a broken shoulder blade, bruises, road rash and a cardiac contusion, his incredible story began making the rounds.

“They were asking me, 'Were you the guy? Were you the guy that hit the bear?' And I said, 'Yeah, that was me,'” said Milner.

His wife rushed to his side, relieved her husband’s injuries weren’t critical, and stunned at how he got hurt.

“Everyone I told about it they said, 'Oh my gosh, if it wasn’t you telling me, I wouldn’t have believed the story. It’s unbelievable,'” said Emily Milner. “I’m from Brazil, so a story like that is so out of the ordinary. Something like that would never happen in Brazil.”

Kevin Milner is shown at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver where he was treated for his injuries after crashing into a black bear on his bike. (Photo submitted by Kevin Milner)

As for the bear, Milner said it appeared to be unfazed by the collision.

“He was just munching on the grass, he looked like he just carried on with his day. Like a minor inconvenience for him really,” said Milner.

While he has a long recovery ahead of him, Milner and his family haven’t lost their sense of humour. His mother bought him a stuffed black bear holding a balloon that says “Get Well Soon.”

“Much more friendly,” said Milner of the plush bear compared to the one he T-boned with his bike.

He is grateful for Sam the cyclist who stayed with him and loaned him the e-bike. And Milner is determined to get back on his bike as soon as he can. But he’s not sure he will return to what used to be his favourite trail.

“I ride the Seymour Demonstration Forest to avoid traffic. And what do you know, I hit a bear,” he said, adding “Might be safer to ride with traffic.” Top Stories

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