A bear, a bicycle and the challenges associated with backcountry recreation

Your browser does not support the audio element. Author and long-time reporter for the Missoulian Robert Chaney, reads an excerpt from his book “The Grizzly in the Driveway: The Return of Bears to a Crowded American West.”

“Oh God, bear!”

Brad Treat’s penultimate words were his cousin’s only warning. The two men were on a mountain bike ride on the Green Gate Trail, just across Highway 2 from Coram, sandwiched between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Treat led, pedaling with competitive effort, about sixty feet ahead. He whizzed around a blind corner. Then came a thud, followed by an animal’s roar of pain or surprise.

Two seconds later, the cousin came around the same corner and saw a large grizzly bear standing over Treat’s body. Treat called his cousin’s name twice—his final words (which weren’t included in the coroner’s report, leaving the cousin unidentified). The second man stopped his bike about thirty feet away from the crash, uncertain what to do. He described the bear as brownish-black, very big, with bristled-up fur. The bear focused on Treat’s body, never looking at the companion. After about thirty seconds,

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