Cyclist forced to sprint for her life after being chased by grizzly bear in Canada

Sierra Van Der Meer was riding along the road when she saw the animal on the shoulder

(Image credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

A Canadian cyclist was forced to put in a “once-in-a-lifetime sprint” to escape a chasing grizzly bear.

Sierra Van Der Meer found herself face to face with the animal as she was riding uphill along the South Klondike Highway in the northwest of the country.

The bear stood on the shoulder just a few metres away from Van Der Meer and her mountain bike, and she opted to face back down the hill just in case she needed to make her escape, reports Canadian news outlet CBC.

After walking up onto the highway, the bear then started to chase Van Der Meer down the hill.

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She said: “To my surprise, it decided to stop munching its grass and walk up onto the highway.

“It decided to chase me down the hill.”

Fortunately after a 10 second chase, a minivan emerged on the highway and the driver reacted quickly to help scare off the bear.

Van Der Meer added: “[The driver] sort of sped up behind me, and the bear went into the ditch again.

“The driver pulled onto the shoulder and followed me another 200 or 300 metres, at which point I finally felt safe.

“She obviously knew what she was doing, and did exactly what I needed in that time.”

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Just days before the incident, Van Der Meer had mentioned that she rarely sees bears and joked she thought they were hiding from her.

She added that she is going to stop bragging about not seeing bears after her close encounter with nature.

Even UK riders aren't entirely safe from run-ins with the natural world.

An Olympic triathlete suffered an unexpected brush with wildlife when he was hit by a deer while riding around Richmond Park.

Stuart Hayes, who represented Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics, posted a picture of himself on Twitter receiving medical attention from paramedics.