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Local cyclist recovering after collision with coyote on Rio Gran

The Glenwood Springs Post independent: Local cyclist recovering after collision with coyote on Rio Grande Trail


ASPEN, Colorado — Aspen Highlands ski patroller and mountaineer Bob Sloezen has stood on the summit of Mount Everest. Now, he can add a new tale to his collection of outdoor adventure stories.

Sloezen, a.k.a “Sloman,” was bicycling on the Basalt-Old Snowmass bike trail Monday when he collided with a coyote. The resulting crash sent him to the hospital with a broken leg.

“It's gotten quite the chuckle here at the hospital,” said Sloezen from his room at Aspen Valley Hospital on Thursday. “Everybody in the hospital comes in and says, ‘So you're the guy who hit the coyote.'”

Sloezen was on a road bike, riding a section of the paved trail between Holland Hills and Old Snowmass and paying attention to the oncoming traffic — another biker pulling two children in a trailer, accompanied by a leashed dog. They passed, and Sloezen refocused on the path in front of him just as a coyote darted out onto the trail.

“It just ran out of a bush, right in front of me,” he said. “I heard it yipe, like a dog would if you stepped on its foot.”

Bicyclist and coyote made eye contact and collided. The animal dashed off afterward, and Sloezen believes he went over the handlebars. It all happened pretty quickly, he said.

The other bicyclist stopped and used Sloezen's cell phone to call for help.

Sloezen described himself as “an occasional helmet wearer,” but he was wearing a helmet on Monday.

He suffered a spiral fracture to the femur of his left leg. A titanium rod has been inserted into his leg and connected to another rod in his hip, he said.

Sloezen anticipated a weekend release from the hospital. He is to keep weight off the leg for six weeks.