Bleeding Cyclist Self-Rescues After T-Boning Bear

There’s an acronym for when a mountain biker finds himself flying over the bars — OTB. But how about when one takes a tumble over a bear? That would be — well, that would also be OTB.

Cyclist Kevin Milner needed both usages last week when he collided with a black bear in Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.

Milner was descending a paved path at 8:30 pm when he rounded a blind corner and saw a black bear off to his left, as North Shore News reported. Then, the cyclist had to decide between slamming on his brakes (and ending up right next to a potentially frightened bruin) or swerving to avoid a possible collision.

Milner chose to swerve.

You know that thing where two people are walking toward each other in a hallway, and both try to step out of the way, but both step in the same direction? Then both try to correct and end up still in each other’s way in an awkward kind of tango?

Same thing here, but with more fur.

“The second I made that decision [to swerve], he decided to run and he ran right across the road, right in front of me and I smashed into him right behind his shoulder blade,” Milner told North Shore News. “I did a flip over him. I pretty much kissed the bear and then I guess I flew through the air.”

Milner ended his flight with a fractured scapula, a cardiac contusion, abdominal swelling, and a broken helmet, he told CBC News. (Plus road rash. Yikes.) The bear, startled but no worse for the wear, scampered off into the woods.

‘He’s back.’

According to North Shore News, two women cycled past and found Milner on the ground, then offered to ride toward the trailhead until they had enough cell reception to call for medical assistance. Another cyclist, this one riding an e-bike, also showed up and decided to stay with Milner until first responders arrived, the outlet said.

Fifteen minutes later, help wasn’t there. But this ursine drama’s original participant returned to the stage.

“Oh shit, dude. He’s back. The bear’s back,’” the e-cyclist exclaimed, according to Milner.

The bear was content to return to his evening snack, munching on the grass on the side of the path. But Milner, reportedly coughing up blood at this point, wasn’t excited about hanging around. According to the Vancouver Sun, he commandeered the e-bike, opened the throttle, and zoomed (with one functional arm) toward the trailhead.

“This thing rips, man,” he said to the two women who’d gone for help as he passed them on their non-motorized bicycles.

Paramedics soon transported the indefatigable cyclist to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released the next morning.

“I’m just really, really glad to be alive,” he said “It’s like the most Canadian, North Vancouver thing that could ever happen.”

That’s probably what the bear thought too.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew’s essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals.
You can find more of his work at, @andrewmarshallimages on Instagram and Facebook, and @pawn_andrew on Twitter (for as long as that lasts).