Just took the KTM out to examine the driving conditions. It’s Biblical.

The A420 is closed where it bypasses the village – haven’t checked it out, yet – so people seem to be heading off into the minor roads in the region of Faringdon and Lechlade. This turns out to be a Bad Idea.

Flooded field near Lechlade, July 2007

I rode to Highworth for fuel, then out to Lechlade, though Buscot to Faringdon and home. There’s quite a river, 8 inches perhaps, running across the road between Watchfield and Shrivenham. Highworth is ok on the hill. The floods from Inglesham through Buscot are spectacular.

The Thames in flood at Buscot, July 2007

The KTM was a joy. I must have been close to maximum wading depth through the half mile or so of flooding at Buscot. The wheels were submerged above the tyres, suggesting over 20 inches of water. I had to put my feet down, unfortunately, to get around stuck cars: it was up to my thighs.

Admittedly, these were minor roads in the Thames valley, but there’s chaos all around. People are abandoning their cars between floods and there are massive queues on the nearby trunk routes and their feeders. Apparently the Thames rises slowly and the worst is to come.

Where cars are getting stuck or turning back to sit in immovable queues, 4x4s and KTM supermotos are in their element. I offered to Beth that we could travel to the Northolt Summer Ball on the KTM but she seemed “reluctant”. We’re agreed that going by car isn’t a great idea.

Now, where’s that helmet-mounted camera…

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