Bear with me: Wish I had a helmet cam...
Just north of Hayfork on Saturday, straight and mostly level jeep trail. Cruising first in the group in 3rd gear on my 950 (about 35-40 mph) in the right tire track. About 20-ft in front of me, a small black bear flushes out of the bushes on the right side. Standing on the pegs, I have this image burned in my mind: Black bear in full extension run, front tire impacting just behind his left shoulder. No time brake. No time to swerve. No time to even chop the throttle, let alone say "Oh shit!"
Dirt and dust was everywhere. All of the proper gear prevented any abrasions. A couple of small bruises here and there popped up later. But boy did my knee hurt. I'm on my stomach, sucking dust, realizing that I'm OK (excepting the knee/leg). I slowly roll and take stock as I reach over and hit the bike's kill switch. The bike is still pointing in the direction of travel, lying on it's right side. Me, I'm rolling around like a whiny little girl, yelling epithets at a certain individual of ursus americanus. Fucker.
The rest of the crew shows up, baffled at the scene since there is no reason to crash there. The only sign of the bear is a few shit pellets at the site of impact. I didn't even have time to shit my pants, don't know how he managed it. Maybe the 950 IS that intimidating....Eventually got the bike started (that's another story), and tenderly rode out to Hayfork down some steep jeep trails. Finished the ride a couple of hours later (cut short) on easier roads, assisted with a tire change, and finally got back to camp to ice the knee as I drank beer. Right front turn signal gone, bodywork scratched, tank guard bent and scratched to hell, and the forks seem slightly twisted in the triple clamps. Rode it home to Sac on Monday.
Orthopedist is pretty sure it's a torn ACL. MRI to follow to confirm. If I only had a helmet cam. It would almost be worth it if I had video of it.
"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner