I love bears, the black ones make the best breakfast sausage and fur hats.
if you've never seen an abundance of black bears- in red blonde blackand brown colors, come visit my park from May 20th to June 20th http://www.explorewellsgray.com
if you don't see at least 2 black bears, I'll eat a bug!
as for bear deterants... pepper spray is useless at less than 10 feet, and even then it only works every second time... I know this from close and personal experience. Your best strategy is to make noise... tragically bear bells do save lives, mostly tacky german toruist lives, but... i put my keys on a caribiner and hang them on a belt loop.. and i wear synthetic material pants.. not only are they usually waterproof, they make noise when they hit branches and as you walk. Put a baseball card in your spokes if you're mountan biking.
Garbage? seriously- hand it directly to the garbage man if you have bear problems. Bears are only attracted to garbage if they've had a taste of it before. We've had Bearproof garbage cans for about 12 years now.. before the bearproofs, we had a couple cans tumbled every night... we were destroying a half dozen "garbage habituated " bears a year.
Now that the bears can't get at the garbage in the cans, they don't even come around them, even if they are smelly. all it took was a generation of bears.. about 4 years with the Bearproofs, to see a huge reduction in problem bears, and 10 years to have no bear issues at all in the heart of bear country.