Bold black bear sends bikers flying

Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ANCHORAGE - This bear wasn't fazed by a few bikers roaring along on large, noisy motorcycles.

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It paused, sized up the situation and made its move. The black bear darted through the group riding on the Seward Highway this weekend and sent some of them flying.

According to several of the bikers, the bear walked onto the shoulder near Cooper Landing on Saturday morning and paused roadside while the first few in a group of eight bikers passed going south.

But before Anchorage motorcyclist Randy Hames could get his own Harley-Davidson past, the bear decided to run for it.

"I thought it was a dog because it was not very big," Hames said. "It paused and then went zipping across the road, and that's when things got exciting."

A biker in front of him veered and stopped, and Hames almost avoided a crash too until he was clipped from behind by Anchorage rider Michael Sweet's bike, he said. Sweet, 48, suffered injuries to his head, neck, arms and legs. Witnesses said he was wearing a helmet.

Hames, Sweet and a third rider, Gilbert Wilson of Anchorage, all went flying from their bikes. One of those bikes ended up under an oncoming Dodge Ram pickup driven by Tim Lebling.

Hames said he and Wilson were banged up but OK.

Lebling said the bear got across the road unscathed.

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