People often ask me: Why bears? Bears are my spirit animal. I admire their persistance, strength and resiliance, key skills of every athlete. They are attached to the change of season and as a cyclist I can identify with that. Unfortunately we are not able to resynthesize amino acids from urea like hibernating bears can. For bears winter is the time for withdrawal and introspective. As a cyclist I seclude myself from competition in that time of the year and take a long hard look at myself and the last season. In springtime you come out and show what you got. Bears are amazing: Females are rated among the most protective and caring mothers, cubs rank among the most playful animals. When they’re born they weigh less than a pound and grow so fast into that big powerful animal. A bear can crush a bowling ball with its teeth and runs faster than Usain Bolt.
Human beings need wild things to keep them humble. As Wayne Lynch said it: ‘They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit in the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves and for the dreams of our children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does.’
Bear rides constantly donates to organisations that help bears in need who suffer from abuse in circuses, as tourist attractions in cages or in bile farms. It takes a lot of money to rehabilitate a mistreated bear. If you want to help too, consider making a donation to Four Paws, Animals Asia or Appalachian Bear Rescue.
Foto credit: Stefan Jeschke