SPOKANE, Wash. — Growing up in the Yukon, Melanie Klassen had seen numerous bicycle tourists pedaling the Alaska Highway, but never one with a canine companion running behind him.The wolf nipped at the bike's rear packs the way it would bite the hamstrings of a fleeing moose in the drawn-out ordeal of subduing large prey.
"I thought it was odd until I saw the panicked look on the biker's face - as though he was about to be eaten," she said in a telephone interview.
"That wasn't a dog; it was a wolf."
The cyclist, William "Mac" Hollan, 35, of Sandpoint, Idaho, verified Klassen's observation of Saturday's incident: "At this point I realized I might not be going home, and I began to panic at the thought of how much it was going to hurt."
Hollan, who was prepared for grizzly encounters, blasted the wolf with bursts of bear spray on several occasions. He said the wolf would fade back 20 feet or so and then move up again.
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