Bear encounter while MUni'ing

Has anyone ever come across a bear while MUni’ing? Well, I did the other day, scared the … out of me. I was riding my hour loop up Highlands Mtn. late in the afternoon. I had pushed hard up the vertical section, about 1,000’ vertical, and was on the downhill. This part of the downhill is singletrack, very narrow and deep singletrack. The pedals hit the sidewalls if you don’t keep it in the middle. The sun was filtering through the quaking aspen trees, onto the vibrant red indian paintbrush and purple lupine flowers. The track was soft and the MUni’ing was really fun. Downhill switchbacks through the forest, just me and nature… so I thought. I came around a corner pretty fast, and there it was. A HUGE brown bear, approx. 300 pounds in the trail. Obviously he had heard me coming, because it was in the middle of turning away from me. I dismounted and became very BIG and vocal. It turned and ran away, thank god. I was blown away at how fast it was, it disappered in two or three seconds. The ground rumbled as it ran away. I was glad that it had other plans for dinner. I still had a mile or so of single track left, I didn’t think going back uphill was a good choice so I continued downhill. For the next 20 minutes I sang to the bear, loudly. It reminded me of when I was a kid walking in the dark, scared sh…less. It seemed that head was spinning 360’s trying to look for the bear as I rode. I made it to the pavement, and checked my shorts.
Since then, we have seen many different bears around our neighborhood, but none in the wild on the trail like that day. This bear encounter happened the same day that my daughter caught a trophy rainbow trout in a creek above Aspen. It was truly a blessed day for me, life is good.
Cheers. :smiley:

Here’s one we saw on Mr Toad’s Wild Ride at Lake Tahoe back in 2000. It wasn’t very scary but when you just see the cub, you do wonder where the mom might be…



Thats cool you got a photo, my sow was to fast to even get to my camera. It’s fun to see wildlife.

I’ve only ever seen deer (an animal which almost never kills people). You have to wonder if these animals are overly confused by unicyclists. Its clearly something they’re not exposed to often and it probably looks pretty alien to them. The bear was probably pretty scared of you for that reason.

unless you hit one in your car.

I’ve only seen deer while riding my unicycle. Where I live are only small parks no beers, wolves, lions, tigers, gorillas, sharks and the such are alowd now your thinking “Oh my!.. how boring.”

Nathan’s bear picture was taken at my bachelor party. My bachelor party was a MUni ride a week before the wedding. We did one later including all the out-of-towners and non-unicyclists, but it turned out pretty boring.

I unfortunately didn’t get to see Nathan’s bear, and didn’t believe him when he told me they saw one. The picture is proof! You can see my pictures from that day here:

That includes two that later appeared in the Weekly World News!

Mike, sounds like your bear was something way over 300 lbs. I think that size would be a small brown bear, but I’m not an expert.

I once came upon a HUGE elk on a ride. I was flying along a (cycling-legal) closed-off dirt road in Yellowstone when I came around a bend, and there it was. It was sitting down, but when it saw me it jumped to its feet. It was very large, with a huge rack. I stopped dead in my track, and hoped it would do something other than come closer. I slowly started reaching for my camera, and then it took off. A little further up the same road, I did get a picture of a coyote.

I regularly see wild turkeys, jackrabbits, and the occasional deer on my rides to work. Also a couple of rattlesnakes, though both of those were on the paved bike path, not even on trails. But no bears.

remember this encounter?

now that’s an awsome thread. i love hearing appreciation of the nature surrounding us while we Muni. what a great venue for our activity!!!

as for bear, i was Muniing at king mountain in vermont when a medium sized black bear came bolting by. i’ve seen many a bear but never while munning and never at full gallop. didn’t have time to do the regular make noise to scare it away as it was away already.

i also almost got knocked off balance by a piliated woodpecker that flew across the path. that was cool. and i often go birding by Municycle so i’ve seen a large variety of birds.

neat stories,


I was on a backpacking trek and a guy brought his camcorder along. We set it up and found that chipmunks would chew through bear bag ropes and then bears would come eat the food, and kill the chipmunks.

I intend to redo that trek with a MUni one of these days.

Ders Bear in Dem Woods

I’ve seen bear twice while Mtn Biking (before I had ever heard of muni, or tried uni) near my parents place in central NH, and once saw a bear cross the road nearby. Quite possible I’ll see them while muni-ing, since it’s the same trails/roads I would ride on.
Slightly related, my mom once got in a fender-bender with a bear! She was driving home from work when she saw a bear runing next to the road. She slowed down to pass it, and as she passed it, he swerved into her fender! Then he ran off into the woods, without even exchanging insurance info! Left a small dent too…
And yes, that is a true story!

Mike, that sounds pretty crazy! I’ve encountered a cougar while running in the Wasatch front but never while MUniing. Luckily I wasn’t alone at the time, though I most frequently am. We have great MUni rides planned every day during NAUCC, perhaps I’ll encourage folks to stay close together…:wink:


Well i must congratulate all you uni bear spotters for not having to change pants after your encounters. I’m an Aussie and our country has a lack of native big assed scary mamals such as bears and elk etc. In my end of the woods i have to be more worried about spider webs on the trial and snakes (pretty dangerous and bloody hard to see) and that doesnt make for a good story does it. Nice pics,

Lol, nice picture Jagur : )

I wonder if he can ride backwards, i’d be jealous…



I hate snakes! They are damn hard to see! I’ve almost run over them on my uni twice here in NH… forrtunately, there’s only one poisonous snake native to the area, the Timber Rattler, but it’s been pretty much exterminated around here…
I ran over a snake in Florida tho… you could prolly here my scream for miles, 'cause I looked down just in time to roll over him (I was on a bike)… I screamed 'cause A) I hate pretty much anything non-mammalian, and B) There are 3 kinds of snakes in that area, and 2 are deadly :wink:

As for deer killing people when you hit them in your car… Not usually… it’s the MOOSE you gotta watch out for… I do a lot of night driving, and deer don’t scare me… they’ll total my car (then I can get that Civic Hybrid, or maybe the Prius ;)) but with a moose my last thoughts will be “Uh-oh! Mo-” followed by the sound of my roof collapsing…