Peddling as hard as I could, beating my fastest time home consumed my thoughts. My feet and lungs synchronized and as speed built, the force of my breathing intensified. 1, 2, 3, 4, in, out, in, out, right, left, right, left; everything happening at once.
Focused, I took in data from around me, seeing everything I could see while going. My wheels, flowing with the pavement, moved my arms and legs up and down, smoothing the path, absorbing the blows of terrain and transitions.
Determined, I needed to prove I could get home in under a certain time, and since this was Friday, I could go all out and recover my sore legs over the weekend.
I am my fastest, and then, I hear a car approaching and slowing down, prepare for evasive action! But then, a woman's voice called to me:
"You lost a shoe!"
The flow of traffic took her away quickly as I stopped and took off my backpack. The open cargo compartment mocked my best efforts at riding. The missing shoe lay on a transition from a cross street back to the bike path, a place where there's a puddle when it rains. I'm glad it hadn't started raining yet that day.
The lady was gone before I could say thank you.
So Lady on New Jersey Avenue in a Pontiac (I think):
Thank you very much!
This is a true story that happened Friday, September 30, 2016 at approximately 4:55 PM. I rode home in 19 minutes even with backtracking and stopping to get the shoe. I have changed the way I zip my backpack to minimize losing cargo in the future.