If you’ve been watching the news over the last few days, then you would have heard about the twisters, torrential rain, and hailstones that hit the West Midlands on Monday. Here is a personal perspective about what happened last Monday night. I live in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and was out over Kinver Edge when I heard the first rumbles of thunder.
I was wearing a vest and shorts, and, as I left the house chucked my Pertex waterproof out of my backpack ‘to save weight’. It had been hot and saultry all day, and the chances of rain looked slim.
If you know the area, you’ll know of a bridleway that links Wolverley village with the Edge. It has been under repair and closed for a lot of the last 2 years whilst ‘repairs’ are carried out on it. For the first time in ages, it had re-opened, and I took off up it. The latest repairs seemed to have involved digging out the 8 inches or so of dirt, and replacing it with sand. The only justification that I can see for turning a perfectly ride-able bridleway into a no-go area for mountain bikes is that there is a rich landowner with a large riding stables half way up it. I guess he gets pissed of with Lycra louts like myself within view of his land, and has sufficient clout in the local council to get them to spend scarce resources on mindless projects. So, having struggled through the sand, I thought that it might be a good idea to head home, so turned back toward Kiddy.
I got into Wolverley in time for a light shower to kick off. I cycled on, but within a couple of minutes had hailstones ripping into me – they were wind blown and really stingy on the bare flesh. By the time I got another couple of ks down the road, things got farcical. I was cycling uphill, and in about 18" of water, so that my feet were underwater for a lot of the time. By the time I got within a k of home (bottom of Sion Hill for those who know the area), things got really silly. Cars were conked out, people were up to their shins in water pushing their precious motors out of puddles they dumped them in, and traffic chaos reigned. What a laugh to be on a MTB. People thought I was mad, but the rain was warm, and Lycra doesn’t really get clammy, so instead of pushing for home, a bombed around the streets of Kidderminster to watch the pathetic motorists. Revenge for all the times I’ve been involved in ‘near misses’ on the A449 over winter with stupid / careless / dozey / thoughtless motorists.
Wicked. The only regret I had was leaving my mobile phone in the (brand new) ‘Deuter’ backpack I bought last weekend. Despite what the sales blurb says, it isn’t that waterproof, and my phone is now buggered.
Anyone who wants a riding partner around Kidderminster could contact me