black bear charges, rams moving motorcycle


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Feb 21, 2003
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Eagle River black bear charges, rams moving motorcycle
Bent and broken, bike doesn't go down, but 5-foot bruin goes down for the count

Anchorage Daily News

(Published: August 4, 2004)
A woman and a young boy enjoying a low-key motorcycle ride in the sun Monday nearly toppled over on Eagle River Road after a large black bear chased the machine and rammed it with its head.

"The bear acted like a dog," said Dena Boughton, who was driving the Harley-Davidson at the time and was home Tuesday with a sprained ankle and a broken bike.

Cameron Ryckman, 9, the youngster riding with Boughton, said the episode was "probably the scariest thing that ever happened to me."

The collision with the animal "was the first time that I ever actually touched a bear," he said.

Monday evening was perfect for riding, Boughton said. The road was dry and the air was warm.

Boughton, who said she has about 30 years of experience on a bike and also teaches motorcycle safety classes, decided to swing by the Ryckmans', longtime friends, and take Cameron on his first-ever motorcycle ride.

Boughton drove Cameron around Eagle River for about 15 minutes to see if he felt comfortable. He did, and so they decided to cruise out Eagle River Road to the Eagle River Nature Center, she said.

Once there, they stopped and stretched their legs and then turned around to go home.

About two miles down the road, Boughton spotted a bear standing in the other lane. She slowed to figure out what to do. Boughton said she thought the bear was a cub and that other bears could be nearby, and the best thing to do was motor by.

But as they neared the bear, the animal started after their bike. "That's the most bizarre thing that's ever happened to me," Boughton said. "I was surprised at how fast that bear could run."

The bruin rammed Boughton's left foot and Cameron's shin with its head. It broke the gear shifter on the Harley and bent a foot peg before falling into the street. Boughton said when she looked back, the bear was still.

Cameron remained calm the entire time, Boughton said. "Had he freaked out and wiggled, we might have gone down," she said. As it was, the bear had made them swerve sharply.

"At first I thought we were going to fall over, because it was a pretty big bear," Cameron said. "We're lucky we didn't crash, because then we would have been stranded."

Boughton kept going. She said she thought it was too dangerous to stop, especially with the broken shifter and her injured foot.

The pair cruised into Eagle River. Boughton dropped Cameron off near the Eagle River Wal-Mart near his house because she didn't think she could make the final mile to Cameron's home with her gear shift broken, the pain in her ankle and the youngster on board.

Boughton parked out front of Cameron's house and started yelling and honking for help. There wasn't any blood on her bike, but there was bear hair stuck in the front forks.

Cameron's parents rushed outside.

"My first thought was, 'Where's Cam?' " said the boy's dad, Dave Ryckman.

About that time, Cameron came walking down the street. Cameron's mom took Boughton to get medical help -- she initially thought her foot was broken -- and Cameron and his dad went to look for the bear.

Police were at the scene when they arrived, and Cameron and his dad set about explaining what happened. Cameron said he thinks another vehicle hit the bear, because there was a lot more blood on the road than he remembered and the animal was in a different spot.

Ryckman said the bear was lying on the side of the road and looked to be about 5 feet tall.

"I kinda felt bad for it," Cameron said of the animal, which was dead when he arrived. "But then I thought it wasn't exactly all our fault. I think it had the ability to sit there and not chase us."

Cameron said he probably would ride a motorcycle again but not right away. "I feel really shocked," he said.

Boughton said she will never forget what an emergency room computer monitor alerting medical personnel she was on the way said: Ankle Pain -- bear versus motorcycle.

"I thought that was pretty cute," she said.


Well-known member
Aug 26, 2001
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sounds like they ran over it if you got hair in the front forks, personally id rather run over a squirel


Forever Hunting
May 10, 2004
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I can see the headline now: "Bear Killed By Hog"


Well-known member
Aug 1, 2003
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Twice my wife and I have ran up on bears while riding our dirtbikes. One time was a cub. I tell her what are they going to do knock you down while you are on your bike> Blast right past them they will get out of the way. I hope she doesn't read this.


Well-known member
Aug 3, 2004
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My uncle ran over a german sheperd on his Harley, and crashed pretty bad. This gal must've been a hell of a rider to not go down when hitting that bear. Unless it was a small bear. Still a weird story.


Well-known member
May 29, 2002
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What I want to know is, did the air bag deploy on the motorcycle?

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