After nearly 2,500 miles of eyeballing passing drivers in my dorky rearview mirror on my helmet, and being constantly vigilant for 7-10 hours of riding every day, I didn’t check one time, and it almost cost me.
We were looking for a left turn onto Progress Road just after crossing Interstate 59 outside of Poplarville, Mississippi, and I had been riding directly on top of the white line on the right side of the road, and it suddenly turned into rumble strips. I was surprised and bounced around for a second before I steered my bike to the left of the line. Then I saw the sign for Progress Road, and started to make a left turn. I am sure I checked my mirror a few seconds beforehand and hadn’t seen anything, but I don’t think I double-checked before I started moving to actually make the turn.
I heard a screech of tires and a black PT Cruiser flew past on my left, swerving to avoid me. The car briefly ran onto the shoulder on the left side of the road and then moved on. I hadn’t figured out what happened, but Tony and I discussed it a couple times over the next few miles, and I decided it was 100 percent my fault. Very happy the driver of the PT Cruiser was really paying attention today — sorry for the scare. I feel very, very fortunate and probably don’t want to know how close it was.
Other than that incident, we had a short 64-mile day, crossing over the Mississippi border and heading into some rural, hilly country. Tony’s having some trouble with a head cold that won’t go away.
We stayed at the Rogers Lake Campground on Rogers Lake in Mississippi, about 12 miles from the town of Perkinston. The campground is only open to cyclists, and is owned by Nella Ruth Rogers, who created the lake and Silver Run Lake with her husband in the 1960s. The two lakes have about 120 homes around them now. Ruth is turning 85 this August, and is still mowing and doing all the upkeep around here. Pretty incredible lady.