Rod McLaughlin

Riding through record floods (16 jul 12)

Three times now, I've had to ride my bike on a flooded road.

Luckily, it's a recumbent, so my feet stayed out of the water, but you go slower and slower as you proceed through the flood, the water gets deeper, and you are dragging a trailer which is getting wetter and heavier. Also, you don't know what's under the water - a muddy hole or an obstacle might stop you, and you'd fall in.

Yesterday, I met a guy on a recumbent. Then I realised - it is a hand-propelled recumbent. He is paralysed from the chest down after a bicycle accident. This made me more careful. He told me about Freshwater holiday camp near Bridport. I got there too late for reception, but the girl in the café told me that it might be £30, but she also said if I camped there, and got up early and left they wouldn't know I'd been there. I woke up at 5:30 in a howling gale, and cooked breakfast with difficulty. Then I rode to Dorchester, through increasingly intense rainfall. 

Now I'm in Dorchester in a lovely B&B called 'Aquila Heights', which is on the way to Maiden Castle, an Iron Age hill fort. It is typical of Iron Age society, which was permanently at war. As were many of the societies which preceded it. This is revealed in War Before Civilization by Lawrence Keeley. Dorchester's very Daily Telegraph - nice houses, tea shops and old ladies. It's also surrounded by a history which belies its current tranquility. 


Portland London