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Edward Grace of New Ipswich managed to avoid serious injury after colliding with a bear in New Boston Thursday, but the bear left a bit of his fur behind on Grace's Harley. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER/Union Leader Correspondent)

Bear, biker collide in New Boston

NEW BOSTON - A motorcycle ride through the winding roads of Southern New Hampshire seemed like a perfect way to spend a first date for Karen Morency and Edward Grace - until a black bear picked a bad moment to cross the road.

Morency, of Lowell, Mass., and Grace, who lives in New Ipswich, decided to take their motorcycles for a ride to Harlow's Pub in Peterborough about 1 p.m. Thursday. They took the back roads, following the Francestown Turnpike through New Boston.

Grace was riding his Harley-Davidson in front of Morency, who said she saw a bear start to come out of the woods.

'I thought, 'Oh, a bear! How cute,' she said. 'It wasn't a baby bear. This was a big bear.'

As she watched, Grace and the bear collided.

'I honestly couldn't tell you whether Ed hit the bear or the bear hit Ed, because it happened so fast' she said. 'All I saw was chrome and fur flying everywhere.'

Grace was able to rebound from the impact and didn't dump the motorcycle, which likely allowed him to avoid serious injury.

The bear rolled around a bit, shook himself off and walked back into the woods, Morency said.

The chrome crash bar on Grace's bike was bent to a 45-degree angle and the front fender was mangled, with a tuft of thick brown fur sticking out of the metal.

Grace was taken to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough with possible injuries to his ankle, said New Boston Police Officer Justin Fournier.

Morency said she hopes she and Grace have a chance to have another date.

'It's certainly an interesting way to start a relationship,' she said.

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Nancy Bean Foster may be reached at nfoster@newstote.com...

        

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