Its summer, 1981, and I'm riding my old ten-speed bike over the Henderson Bridge in Lorain one night. The night is warm, clear, and pleasant, and I'm enjoying the slow climb to the peak of the bridge's arch.
The bridge spans the Black River, rising to one hundred feet between the walkway and the water. A four lane road travels over the bridge, with a guard railed walkway on its western side. Once over the bridge, the walkway becomes a sidewalk, with a guardrail to either side. West of the bridge is a slope leading to the river, to the east, the manicured, well-lit grounds of the gypsum plant.
I'd reached the peak, and decided to find out just HOW fast I could come down the other end of the bridge... I levered into tenth gear, and began pedaling down as fast as I could. I flew down the bridge, actually getting air as I came off onto the sidewalk.
I was approaching the curve halfway along, when I saw something that shook me... Standing in the middle of the sidewalk, not fifteen yards ahead, was a girl; I can still see her clearly, young, maybe eighteen or so, pretty, blonde, wearing a white blouse, faded jeans, and white sneakers, standing there looking at me hurtling toward her, her right hand in her hair, her left down at her side. She appeared real, and solid.
I had no room to maneuver around her, so I pulled back on my brakes, and dropped my feet to the pavement, yelling a warning, hoping I can stop in time.
I couldn't; I stopped about ten feet past where she'd been standing, but she was gone.
I looked all around. To the west, I would've been able to hear her moving through the dry grass, if not see her, and in the other direction, she would've been in plain sight for about the length of a football field.
Slowly, I shuffled my bike forward, still looking for the girl, when I got my second shock-ahead of my front tire, about fifteen feet or so, was a pothole, about two feet wide by nearly a foot deep... If I'd hit it at the speed I was going, I might have been thrown off the bike, possibly into the traffic speeding over the bridge.