The internet is full of stories and videos on bears charging mountain bikers, as it is much more common to surprise a bear when on a bike versus when on foot. Not exactly confidence inspiring if you are about to go for a ride in bear country. So what can you do?
Apart from making lots of noise while on the bike (sing songs anyone?), it can’t hurt to have some bear spray with you as a last line of defense. As the spray is virtually useless stuffed in your hydration pack, Canadian company BearCozy has come up with a way to store it at the ready.
The BearCozy is a holster for your bear spray can that fits directly into the water bottle cage on your mountain bike. The two piece top allows you to secure the bear spray in place, while leaving the nozzle and trigger open for rapid response.
If you should encounter a bear, you should first do everything to defuse the situation—back away slowly and make yourself look bigger if the animal continues to advance. If all else fails and you are charged by a bear, reach down and grab your bear spray from the water bottle cage.
Spray when the bear gets to a minimum distance of 25 feet away from you. You want the spray to create as wide a barrier between you and the bear as possible so it has the maximum amount of time to affect the bear’s eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. The Center for Wildlife offers further bear encounter tips.
BearCozy recommends writing the expiry date of your bear spray on the outside of the BearCozy holder with permanent marker – that way you know when is time for a replacement.
The BearCozy retails for $19 CAD and works with 225g cans of bear spray only (bear spray not included with purchase).