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NBC — A Colorado bicyclist took a tumble Tuesday after colliding with a black bear.
Tim Egan was training for the upcoming Triple Bypass Bike Race when the bear darted out in front of him on a country road near Boulder.
Egan and his nephew estimate they were traveling at about 45 miles per hour on the hill just west of Boulder when the collision occurred.
Neither one could believe what happened.
“I saw a blur and thought to myself, ‘Big dog.’ Then just as I was hitting it, I saw this gigantic bear head with huge teeth. He was surprised to see me and I was surprised to see him. It was almost like a cartoon when we collided,” Egan said.
Egan and his bike were thrown through the air.
Egan’s breath was knocked out and he was afraid he’d broken his back.
He couldn’t move for several minutes.
His nephew pulled up on the scene just seconds later and told him the bear was still there.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m alive, but the bear’s here. Oh, this is bad,'” Egan said. “I mean, this bear was as high as my waist. He was extremely well-fed and a big guy. And he wasn’t happy. He looked at me and he opened his mouth.”
Eventually the bear sauntered off into the woods, apparently uninjured.
Egan, though, was bleeding profusely and his bike was bent.
He and his nephew got it straightened out and rode to Boulder Community Hospital.
One longtime homeowner on Old Stagecoach Road confirmed there’s been a very large bear in the neighborhood over the past few days.
Jerry Dancy also says he’s surprised bicyclists aren’t killed as they race down the hill.
“We’ve got bears, we’ve got lots of deer that dart across the road. It’s very dangerous for bicyclists,” said Dancy.
While Egan had to go to the hospital, he doesn’t think the bear had any problems.
“I don’t think I could have hurt him,” said Egan. “It was literally like running into a brick wall. I’m glad my nephew was here, or nobody would have believed me. I told him, ‘I demand that this story be told at my funeral, because it’ll get a laugh out of everyone.'”