Blake Martin, 25, hired a snapper to capture him popping the question to Shannon Keene, 24, on a bridge.
But the rider whizzed by at the crucial moment.
Blake, a chemical engineering PhD student, from Louisville, Kentucky, said the man apologised quickly before continuing on his way.
He added: "I had been planning this proposal for about three months.
"I was extremely nervous. It all happened so fast. I got down on one knee and this orange blur just zipped by and screamed 'Sorry'. It was nuts."
Law student Shannon said: "I thought we were just going to pose for fun.
"We were on this little bridge when Blake asked me to look out over the creek for a photo which I thought was dumb.
"I did not know why he wanted me to pose on my own during a couple's photo shoot. When I turned around he was on one knee.
"I was so shocked. He started saying: 'I love you so much, I want to spend my life with you. Will you marry me?'
She said yes, so wheels are in motion for the wedding in Louisville, Kentucky.
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