Nighttime Mountain Biking
Mountain biking in the Rocky Mountains is an amazing adventure. It’s recommended to only go mountain biking during the day or to have have one or more people with you if you go at night. This person did neither of those things. The trail took them alongside a cliff and forest, getting creepier and creepier as the night went on. Suddenly, they heard a twig breaking but decided to ignore it and move further up the trail. It wasn’t until they saw eyes up in the middle of a tree that they froze in their tracks. At first, they thought it was a squirrel, but then they realized it was a bull moose.
“I just stopped, stood there, and watched as this moose turns its massive head and body toward me, completely blocking the trail. I could hear my heartbeat in my head, feel it in my hands gripping the handlebars bars. My feet were firmly planted on the ground. I had nowhere to go.” This person was trapped alone on a trail, alongside a cliff, in the middle of the Rockies, at night with a moose. It wasn’t until the moose snorted that they decided to pedal as hard as they could.
“About a mile down the trail I looked back and no moose was following me. I’m fully aware that the last time I rode through this part there was some sort of animal in this area. I’m willing my bike not to get a flat tire or stop for any reason. Then, as I crest a small hill about to go up the steep half-mile hill. I see it. At this point, I say to myself “you’ve gotta be f**king kidding me.”
It was not a “harmless” animal that I heard of the first time. It was a f**king black bear. I kept pedaling and never looked back. As I crested this hill I was fully aware that I had about 2,000 feet of descending to do. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my legs were burning more than they’d ever burned, and my lungs had no more to give. Despite riding down the side of a mountain, I felt my heartbeat throughout my entire body the whole way. I could hear it in my ears, feel it in my feet. This trail was also a 1-way trail, so this direction was NOT made to descend. No berms, no nothing. I fall off the edge and I fall down a cliff.
“Every time I approach a switchback I dread pulling the brake lever for fear that something will catch up to me or shortcut through the trees and attack me from the side. I eventually made it to my car, rode up to it, and parked behind it (relative to the trail.) I just sat there, in the dark, with my head on a swivel. Waiting for something to attack me. After a few minutes, my heartbeat left my ears and I dismounted my bike. I could barely stand. My chest hurt, and my knees were quite weak and shaking. My hands weren’t steady enough to undo the zipper on my pack to grab my keys and unlock the car (via Playbuzz).”