A freak accident with a bear gave Davis Souza a fantastic story.
Instagram and a GoPro camera made it possible for everyone else to see it.
Souza, 26, of Tahoe City, Calif., is the mountain biker who crashed into a bear during a recent ride.
A GoPro video from the incident he posted on Instagram has racked up thousands of views and was reposted by Outside Magazine and others.
And on Monday we finally got a chance to speak first hand with Souza who described how it all happened.
He said it happened Sunday, June 12 on the Mills Peak Trail near Graeagle, Calif.
Souza was riding with friends and his trail dog, Moose, when he rounded a corner, began regaining speed and got the surprise of his life.
“That bear came out of nowhere, totally blindsided me,” Souza said.
He said it happened so fast that it first glance he thought it was Moose in the trail, which would have been out of character for the dog which he says does a good job staying out of the way on rides.
At the moment of impact, however, it became clear whatever he hit was much bigger than a dog.
“I made the connection when I hit it, but it took me a second to believe it,” he said. “I have seen (bears) plenty of times biking, off to the side. Never moving that fast.”
In the video viewers can see a flash of black as the bear darts in front of Souza’s bike. There’s also a glimpse of the bear as it runs away after the crash.
He described hearing the bear wheeze or squeal when struck by the bike, similar to the sound of someone having the wind knocked out of them.
But it was able to recover almost immediately and dash off into the woods.
Souza said he wasn’t seriously injured, but he did receive scrapes on his back and elbow.
“I really hope I didn’t hurt the bear,” he said. “My girlfriend was more concerned about the bear.”
After Souza posted the video to Instagram he said he was surprised by the reaction. It’s logged more than 3,300 views and Souza said he added more than 200 followers.
But Souza, an avid biker who said he rides five or more times weekly, said he’s more concerned about regaining his confidence on the trail after such an unlikely incident.
“I’m pretty freaked out to go fast right now,” Souza said. “Everyone tells me I can’t do it twice, I hope that is the case.”