Buddy rescues biker from grizzly
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Few people can boast that they fought a grizzly bear and won, and neither can 46-year-old mountain biker Kirk Speckhals.Oh, Speckhals fought hard enough. But it was a friend who rode up on a bike with pepper spray who probably made the difference.As recounted in the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Speckhals and two companions were riding south of Yellowstone National Park. Speckhals had been clanging his bear bell, but stopped. He had also ridden well ahead of his companions.Suddenly, from about a football field away, a bear charged. Instead of playing dead, Speckhals defended himself with his bicycle. The bear lunged six or seven times, deterred at the last moment by the bike. Finally, the bear grabbed the bike.Meanwhile, the next rider, Tom Foley had heard Speckhals yell “Bear! Bear!” Hearing that, he began pedaling fast. “His voice was getting more terrified,” Foley remembered. “He sounded like he was fighting something. His screams were dramatic and scary.”After stomping on the bike, the bear turned to the rider, shoving Speckhals to the ground. Speckhals figured he was toast.But Foley arrived just then about 15 feet away, drawing his pepper spray and firing. With unblinking eyes big as silver dollars, the bear circled his new protagonist. Finally, with about a second’s worth of spray left, Foley tried a new tactic, yelling at the bear at the top of his lungs. That finally did it.”I could tell his eyes changed,” Foley said. “I knew it was over. All of a sudden he took off.”The bike riders resolve to henceforth religiously ring their bells when in prime bear habitat, to warn the bruins of their approach. They all vowed to carry large cans of pepper spray. Speckhals had none.
REVELSTOKE, B.C. The provincial government in British Columbia continues to plug away at its goal of fostering more tourism as a way of replacing logging and mining.”I think at the end of the day, municipalities, especially rural areas, realize that we have to diversify our economy,” said Sandy Santori, the provincial minister of state for resort development.Government ministers see Revelstoke becoming a “tourism hotbed,” Santori told the Revelstoke Times Review. Currently being considered is a proposal to expand Mount Mackenzie into a major ski resort.