Lions, Tigers, and…BEARS?! WTF?

Holy baby Jebuz, I just had the scare of my life-time. Seriously, I don’t ever remember a time feeling the way I felt only about 2 hours ago.

I’d been editing wedding pictures all day today, and I needed a break. I haven’t ridden at all in a few weeks, and I’ve been going bonkers… not to mention, life has just been tough the last few weeks as well…

I had to get out.

It was already 3:30pm tho….what to do? Oh, load the dirtybike, and go hit some trails for an hour or two! SWEET!

I loaded up the bike on the versa-hauler on the back of the RallEment really quick and boogied up to Foresthill. I figured I could get 20-30 miles in before it got dark…I had no one to ride with that could be ready on the spur of the moment like I tend to do…so I was going to venture out solo. I was a little nervous, I’ll admit…I’d never ridden solo before… I knew I had to be extra careful.

By 4:30, I was gearing up for some me-time.

joe dirtybiling

I staged over at trail 2, then went straight to 5 to hit a connector over to trail 6.

trail 5 foresthill sugarpine ohv

As I’m hauling balls around a right hand bend having all sorts of fun, suddenly, the ass end of the biggest fucking Brown Bear I’ve ever seen in the wild is there before me in the middle of this narrow single-track. It had to have been four or five hundred pounds…I don’t know. It looked like a Grizzly…but I’m pretty sure those aren’t native out here. And it definately wasn’t a Black Bear.

I lock up the rear into a 90 degree angle slide and stop short of the bear by about 6 or 7 feet. Meanwhile, it spins around and is immediately up onto it’s hind legs, standing over me, looking down, starting to do it’s roar thing. I know I scared the shit out of it, cause it did a sort of pirouette onto it’s hind legs all in one motion and lost it’s balance and fell over backwards.

I think that was the only thing that saved me.

My first thought was “SHIT! My camera is in my backpack!!!” Then it was “OMFG!!!!!!!!!” My heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest. I don’t even know how long this all took place…it felt like I sat there, deer-in-headlights, for EONS, waiting to be mauled and eaten.

I didn’t know what to do! I nearly pissed myself! I pinned the bike, bouncing it off it’s rev limiter and yelled the only thing I could think of at the top of my lungs, “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU BEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!” hoping that would scare it.

It immediately popped up onto it’s feet and started towards me. :(

I nearly stalled then nearly crashed trying to finish my u-turn in a panic. I pinned it, hard. I’m no slouch in the forest on a dirtbike…but I went faster than I’ve ever gone before. All I could think of is that I know bears can run about 40mph. I never looked back. I kept it pinned for about 4 miles, expecting a claw or a set of jaws clamping down on me at any second. I nearly crashed into every tree, every burm, ever corner, every rock. I knew that if I fell down, I was done for.

It was scary. Scary unlike I’ve ever experienced outside of a terrible nightmare as a kid. :(

The rest of the ride was good though. :) I never made it to trail 6 though. Ended up doing 5 (in the other direction), 2, and 3. Never saw another soul the 2 hours I was out there. Or any more bears.

total distance

If you look over by the “Minus sign,” that’s where I made my bear-turn on my way over to trail 6… :O


Facebook Comments


  1. 213mph gettin’ outta there! Nice! on a dirt bike no less, on a tight twisty forest trail… Nice! Too bad California Brown Bears can do about 240mph!

  2. would have been awesome to see on camera. would have loved to see what the bear did in an aft looking go pro. after you spun and stood on the gas pedal

    I gotta remember that.

    1. Cool story bro.

      Why the hell were you not wearing a GoPro? If I had a gazillion and two of those things like you I would be wearing three at all times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *