I'll go ahead and nominate this one.
Like many young men of Denver, Louis Riethmann loves to ride bikes. When his cousin came to town from Indianapolis, Louis took him out daily on long rides in the country to enjoy the Colorado springtime. He found that his cousin was a pretty fast rider on his borrowed machine, and Louis was often straining to keep up. One day, coming back from a ride, the two were approaching a train crossing, and of course there was a train approaching. Cousin is up the road and makes the crossing easily. Louis is lagging but decides to go for it, even though his cousin is stopped on the other side of the tracks waving him off like a third base coach. As many of you know, when riding a fixed wheel bike without handbrakes as Louis was that day, such a commitment is more, how you say, serious than it would be on a freewheel bike with handbrakes. Here's what happened next ...
I should mention that this was 1897.
Mr. Riethmann admits that he heard the cry of warning, but did not heed it. He is something of a rider himself, and he did not propose just at that time to be outstripped by a visitor whose health was alleged to be somewhat impaired. Instead of waiting for the train to pass he took an extra hump, threw all his leg power into the pedals and figured on crossing the track with a Hachenberger spurt that would take any conceit out of his cousin. [Typical.] Then came the clash. The passenger was making for Denver at the rate of thirty miles an hour, and just as Mr. Riethmann reached the crossing the train struck him. Nobody knows just what happened then. The engineer of the train had his head out of the window as usual and saw the smash. The engine was instantly reversed and the train stopped as quickly as possible, but not until after it had gone about a hundred feet. When the engineer and fireman leaped from the cab their first look was under the engine wheels, which they expected to find covered with blood and mangled remains of the reckless rider. As they did not find their man under the engine they started back looking under the other cars of the train, but failed to find any hands or feet hanging out any place on detached duty. As yet neither of the men had thought to look on the pilot of the engine. Mr. Philbeck had been a horrified witness of the accident, however, and had expected to see his cousin killed. Not seeing him fall, he kept watch of the engine and was the first to observe the rear wheel of the bicycle sticking over the pilot and making a million revolutions, more or less, a second. He communicated his information to the engineer and fireman, and the three men made a rush for the engine. There was Riethmann lying on the bumper above the pilot, grasping the flagstaff with one hand and holding the prized wheel from falling under the engine.
Even the discovery of the man on the pilot did not relieve the fears of the engineer, who supposed that Riethmann had been killed and that the wheel was held by a hand cold in death. He was too badly excited to speak, but his fears were soon relieved. Riethmann took in the situation at a glance and turning to the engineer, said, good naturedly and as naturally as possible: "Hello! Can I ride into town with you?"
Mr. Riethmann assured his friends that he was not hurt in the least, and insisted upon giving his first attention to an examination of his wheel, which was also found to have escaped injury. He said that he really had no very clear idea of what had happened. He had made a spurt to cross the track ahead of the engine and realized when too late that a collision could not be avoided. He had felt no crash, but had been apparently lifted up and thrown on the bumper above the pilot. He had caught his wheel by the saddle and had grasped the flagstaff of the engine without knowing how. It was all over in a second and he felt the engine slowing up rapidly and knew that he was all right, although he thought he could have maintained his position until Denver was reached without any serious inconvenience.
The two wheelmen were taken aboard the train and brought to the city, and rode home from the depot. Yesterday Mr. Riethmann was around as well as ever, barring a slightly bruised hip and the loss of a generous patch of cuticle from his right knee.
From the Denver News, reprinted in the Castle Rock Journal, May 7, 1897.
A 'pilot' is the large fan-like device on the front of the locomotive, commonly known as a 'cow-catcher.' As for 'Hachenberger spurt,' that refers to the speed of the dominant racer in Colorado at that time.
Typical that the first thing Riethmann wants to do after eating train is check his bike for damage. Typical wheelman. Let's hope he learned his lesson.