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high pivot witchcraft
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of rain, lots of berries, lots of bears this year. I have seen 7 already at semi-close range. Just got back from Fernie BC. Saw a black there yesterday just off the trail. Heard about numerous encounters during the short time we were there.

I was greeted by this at one of the local trailheads tonight:

Road Display device Infrastructure Road surface Atmosphere


Atmosphere Road Road surface Asphalt Landmark


Didn't see a bear tonight, but I rode over this:

Brass Cylinder Metal Still life photography Gun accessory


Hope its owner made it out okay...

It's been a very odd year locally for rain, a late muddy start, and TONS of wildlife encounters, predominately bears.
 

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I'll be in Fernie in about 4 weeks. Flying into Calgary 4 weeks from tomorrow.

Did you see any grizzlys? I've only ever seen one up there and it was near Elk Pass north of Elkford but it was damned big.

Last year about this time, we spooked up a mountain lion as we crossed over Cabin Pass which is several dozen miles south east of Fernie.
 

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That an EMPTY can of bear spray?
My first year riding the Tour Divide, I ended up having to pull out early. The holder for my bear spray didn't work all that well and it had bounced out a few times so it was dented and beat up pretty badly. As I packed up a bunch of stuff in a flat rate shipping box at the post office, I slipped my can of bear spray into it. At the counter, the lady asked if I had bear spray in it as it cannot be shipped. I dug in and pulled it out without much effort. I told the people behind me "They call it bear repellent but if you throw it at them all they do is chew on it." They all gave me the "Are you ****** serious." look That was the only bright spot to that day.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Bears will be bears. I haven’t seen any yet this year in Colorado. Been looking and hoping to though. Although it’s never a good thing to have an over abundance of them. Just be thankful they are the more gentle variety Black Bears and not Grizzly.

You know how to tell the difference I hope.

Black Bear droppings has berries and vegetation mixed in.

Grizzly Bear dropping has tiny bells helmet straps and smells like pepper spray.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll be in Fernie in about 4 weeks. Flying into Calgary 4 weeks from tomorrow.

Did you see any grizzlys? I've only ever seen one up there and it was near Elk Pass north of Elkford but it was damned big.

Last year about this time, we spooked up a mountain lion as we crossed over Cabin Pass which is several dozen miles south east of Fernie.
Shoot me a PM if you want to ride in the Calgary area (Canmore, Banff, West Bragg, Kananaskis, etc.). Happy to ride with you or at minimum, give you some trail suggestions. Also, I am sure you are already aware of the riding in Fernie but let me know if you want trail suggestions for there as well. Note that the entire Ridgemont area is shut down this summer for logging.

As an aside, the encounters in Fernie have involved both grizz and blacks. On the weekend, I ran into a local on the trail (Montane area) who was out looking for his wife's sunglasses. They encountered two bears fighting the day before (a small grizzly and a large black) when his wife lost her glasses.

In 25+ years of riding I have not seen this kind of bear presence in the area. It's been a very odd year.

PS - between the bear presence, a late start, impending darkness, and my Druid, I PRed a ride last night destroying my fastest time from 2015. The bear presence (and darkness) is a very good motivator.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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PS - between the bear presence, a late start, impending darkness, and my Druid, I PRed a ride last night destroying my fastest time from 2015. The bear presence (and darkness) is a very good motivator.
LOL - Yeah, that would tend to keep ya rolling at a faster pace.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I've seen several bears in my area this year, as well. Plus several more that a rider ahead of me saw, but ran off before I got to the spot. They've also been prowling my neighborhood more this year than in years past. I'm wondering how long it'll be before bear-resistant trash cans are necessary.
 

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high pivot witchcraft
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
LOL - Yeah, that would tend to keep ya rolling at a faster pace.
I was scared shitless and making pacts with God on my climb that if he got me through this, I wouldn't do any more dumb things. I was worried about hitting the wall on the way up. I was motoring as fast as I could possibly go. I hit the summit with fumes left in the gas tank.

The down was incredible. Beyond words. I am absolutely certain that at points, it was the fastest I have ever gone on a bike.

That Druid is an unbelievable work of art. It is making me a much better rider than I am. The thing is absolutely magical. It's by far the best descender AND climber I have had in my life. And God knows that I have had my fair share of nice bikes.

I told my "plus 1" afterwards that this was one of the top 3 rides I have had in over 25 years of biking. I told her that the whole way up, I kept thinking about the priest in Caddy Shack who was having the best golf match of his life in the torrential downpour and electrical storm.
 

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My wife and I ended up finishing our "Tour Dividish" adventure a week or so ago.

She wasn't in the best condition, so the route for day 3 got simplified. Day 4 did see us over Whitefish though and improving. Day 5 also got modified. The plan was to take the Inner North Fort Road down through Glacier N.P. but the rangers told us that it was off limits due to bear activity and active trapping of some bad actors.

Nevertheless, on Day 1, heading South out of Banff. We got on the HRT. A ways before the long wooden bridge before Spray Lake, we came across a momma bear and 2 cubs. It was my wife's first time with bears. She is visually impaired so it was even a bit more intimidating. The bears had no idea that we were there, so we yelled at them. The cubs bolted. One up a tree and the other into the underbrush. Momma stood there on all fours like WTH??? It took about 5 minutes for her to locate the cubs before she ambled off into the brush and we quickly passed through.

Everyone that we talked to said that the berry crop was very good in the upper elevations so the bears were staying higher later into the year. Eureka was starting to finally get some nuisance bears which was late for them according to the paper that I read in passing.

Darn, I love cycling that entire area.
 

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Here's a black bear I startled in Fernie a couple of weeks ago (zoom in on the center of the photo). I made a lot of noise (apparently not enough) on the climb up and when I crested the trail I spooked him. Thank goodness he ran off the other way. Once he was far enough away I grabbed this pic.

I have to say that being worried about a bear encounter around every corner adds a bit of stress to the ride.

Vegetation Plant community Land lot Highland Shrub
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I've only seen one this year, a big brown bear coming up the trail when I was 2 miles away from the singletrack finish of a 73 mile race. Real odd to not see any blacks. There's still time though...
 

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No known cure
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I've seen several bears in my area this year, as well. Plus several more that a rider ahead of me saw, but ran off before I got to the spot. They've also been prowling my neighborhood more this year than in years past. I'm wondering how long it'll be before bear-resistant trash cans are necessary.
The bears are thick this year in the So Cal Mountains. I don't know if the 60+ inches of rain this winter and spring had anything to do with it.

I don't take my trash out until the morning of pickup and I freeze any food scraps and toss them just as I put the cans out
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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In Colorado they have said the bears are more active with more sightings this year. Yet I haven’t seen a one, last season I had 4 sightings. I’ve had 12 sightings in the last 6 years.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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In Colorado they have said the bears are more active with more sightings this year. Yet I haven't seen a one, last season I had 4 sightings. I've had 12 sightings in the last 6 years.
There have probably been a dozen sightings of bears in my neighborhood this year alone.

It's been awhile since I've seen any on the trails, but they're definitely around. My friends have been seeing them pretty consistently. I've still seen at least a dozen bears this year (as many as 4 in one sighting).
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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There have probably been a dozen sightings of bears in my neighborhood this year alone.

It's been awhile since I've seen any on the trails, but they're definitely around. My friends have been seeing them pretty consistently. I've still seen at least a dozen bears this year (as many as 4 in one sighting).
Yeah, your area is inundated with them and more humanly congested. Colorado has a healthy population of them but is more spread out. Less chance of seeing them.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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How's the saying go? "Black bear, let it know you're there. Brown bear lay there (because he's going to maul you to death anyway)."
As soon as I saw the brown bear jogging up at the trail towards me, I started screaming at it, trying to not give it any time to size me up, just make it think "oh crap, this guy is serious and I better get out of here". It worked this time.

The bears can be pretty thick here, despite me not seeing many this year. One time I was riding about 5 miles from where I live on a day off, but I was feeling fairly tired and slow, so I took a call from the office out in the woods. Of course, while I'm on the phone, a black bear nonchalantly walks by 20 feet behind me. I noticed the noise and was thinking "holy ****! this bear doesn't give a crap!".

Course, that bear has nothing on this wolverine, which was about 1/2 mile from the bear location. This was a couple months ago:

 

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Oh man, I think I’d just crap my pants if I ran into a brown bear, or even if a black bear came that close and unafraid. That wolverine video is wild! Just sauntering down the trail with my goat head. Nothing to see here...
 
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