A hundred yards ahead of me brake lights flash and cars stop as a surreal scene unfolds on this busy street at 6 pm. I don't believe what I'm seeing. A baby in diapers is running across four lanes of traffic, and I mean running. A driver honks, in desperation or fear or both, there isn't an adult on foot in sight. Impossibly the kid makes it between the cars, crosses the sidewalk and disappears from view into a strip mall parking lot.
I'm closing on the scene. Incredibly no one gets out their car. And then I see her. The woman, ashen faced but silent is running straight across the road on the same line. She's reached the median. I get the sense she's holding her breath... been holding her breath in reckless pursuit.
I look right and there he is, maybe 18-months old, but a big kid and he's about to run right back across the road. There's no time to get off my bike, I just ride at him. "Hey little boy, stop right there". He starts angling away from me, but I stay in front of him. I can't believe how fast he's moving. He stops and tries to go behind me, but she's there and in one motion sweeps him into the air and safety.
I unclip and ask if she's OK. Her eyes are glazed over. I sense she wants to disappear, there are no tears, she breathes again and almost inaudibly whispers "thank you" (though I didn't do anything) and she's already focused on getting back across the road and presumably home. I look around. There's a guy 50 yards away pumping gas, frozen in place. Further still someone stands at the crosswalk looking on. All of them too far away to do anything but watch in shocked amazement.
I slowly turn away riding around another vehicle that's stopped mid exit from the strip mall. I cut through the gas station passing the car where the guy in now moving away to pay or call his wife to ask if the kids are OK. There's no director but someone has yelled "Action" The film speeds up and I'm moving faster, grinning and shaking my head at the miraculous physics that just played out.
One very lucky little boy, and a mother who may not let go of him ever again.
Postscript: I still can't believe this happened today. If I keep riding all the way to my grave, I'll never see anything stranger than this.
On a much lighter note but related to the laws of physics... check out Danny MacAskill defying gravity on a trials bike. He probably frightens him mother to death too.