A mountain biker was bluff charged when she surprised a black bear and cubs at close range when out biking on Swine Flu trail on the weekend. This is normal defensive behaviour for a bear defending her cubs, space of food source. Are you prepared for your hike or ride in bear country?
The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Making noise to warn wildlife of your presence and having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing. Stay calm, assess the situation, respond accordingly and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).
Bear spray has been determined to be an effective deterrent that can reduce injury and potentially save your life. Like a seat belt, it should be considered essential safety equipment when travelling in wildlife country.