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Black Ice

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Bill Pudney17/01/2016 02:37:35
591 forum posts
24 photos

In another thread Neil mentioned black ice and a cold shudder went down my back.

In the late 70s we used to live near Bath. The Bosses Mum and Dad lived at Blackhall Rocks North of Hartlepool, a long way to go for a cup of tea!!

Like an idiot I had promised my boss that I would be back at work the day after Boxing Day. As we had gone "oop North" for Crimble this mean't traveling back on Boxing Day. Snag was it snowed.

Normally, I think it was about a 5 or 6 hour ride. In those days we traveled by motorcycle. We left Blackhall Rocks at about 9.30, it took 2 hours to get to the A1/M, a trip of about 20 miles. The M'way South had one lane open, and it wasn't too bad. We arrived at Leicester at about 3 ish, and decided to load up on sausage rolls and meatpies and wait until it got dark, I hate traveling at dusk. The intention was to travel down the Fosse Way which passed within about a mile from where we lived. As soon as we got on the Fosse Way I realised it was a mistake. A narrow two lane road, with high camber, and the snow which had been melting had frozen. Some parts of the road were black ice from verge to verge. We ended up riding along the verge on the grassy bits. Then the headlamp bulb blew, onto sidelights, fortunately it was a very clear bright moonlit night. We stopped somewhere around Banbury where I saw a petrol place with a brazier burning. We huddled around that and the owner gave us some cups of coffee, no bulbs though!. I saw a sign for Newbury and headed for that, thinking to get onto the M4 which, along with the Fosse Way passed very close to home sweet home. We got on to the M4, and turned right. Then we encountered freezing fog, oh joy. Within a couple of miles my visor had frozen up, then my glasses, which I had to take off. The conditions didn't seem to affect the cars though, they were still coming passed at quite high speed, in close to zero visibility. I remember saying to Jan, that if we had to stop for whatever reason to hop off and get as far away from the road as possible. Fortunately there was no emergency. Not far from our turnoff, there was an intersection, and I could see a Police Range Rover there, so, as I could no longer feel my hands (despite silk inners, lined gloves, waxed cotton overmitts, and handlebar muffs) we stopped and asked if we could sit in their car for a bit to warm up, one of them said "No....there is a Service place a few miles up the road". So on we went. We eventually got home at about 3.00a.m. I had 1/4" of ice from the frozen fog, on my chest, my eyebrows and moustache where frozen, my eyes were banging around somewhere at the back of my skull. Then we discovered that we had no water the pipes had frozen!! It couldn't get any better than this.

From memory the frost that night was severe, something like 15 degrees below freezing.

Nevertheless I got to work early the next day, had a shower and walked into the office and was greeted by the boss with " God you look awful, I didn't really expect you in today, what with the snow and everything".

That was the day and a half when we decided to emigrate!!

cheers

Bill

 

 

Edited By Bill Pudney on 17/01/2016 02:43:49

Sam Stones17/01/2016 03:33:03
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851 forum posts
321 photos

None down in Melbourne at the moment Bill.

The water in the cold tap was too hot to bear. Almost hotter than the hot water.

Something to do with poor insulation but don't say that too loud.

Sam

Bill Pudney17/01/2016 08:46:50
591 forum posts
24 photos

None here in Adelaide either!!

cheers

Bill

OuBallie17/01/2016 08:57:10
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1156 forum posts
661 photos

South Norfolk -2°C with everything covered in frost.

Geoff - Lovely clear, deep blue sky though.

JA17/01/2016 09:17:47
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1282 forum posts
79 photos

Bill

Winter of 1978-9?

I remember it well. I had just moved to Bristol and had a 400cc Suzuki as transport. I went to London on it that Christmas. It was a bad winter.

JA

DMB17/01/2016 09:21:32
1232 forum posts
1 photos
Some recent years have not seen snow around Brighton&hove. Two consecutive nights hard white frost followed by a typical light dusting of wet snow today. When sun shines it can be felt to be warmer since the Equinox so hopefully will soon melt snow.
thaiguzzi17/01/2016 09:33:33
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704 forum posts
131 photos
Posted by Bill Pudney on 17/01/2016 02:37:35:

In another thread Neil mentioned black ice and a cold shudder went down my back.

In the late 70s we used to live near Bath. The Bosses Mum and Dad lived at Blackhall Rocks North of Hartlepool, a long way to go for a cup of tea!!

Like an idiot I had promised my boss that I would be back at work the day after Boxing Day. As we had gone "oop North" for Crimble this mean't traveling back on Boxing Day. Snag was it snowed.

Normally, I think it was about a 5 or 6 hour ride. In those days we traveled by motorcycle. We left Blackhall Rocks at about 9.30, it took 2 hours to get to the A1/M, a trip of about 20 miles. The M'way South had one lane open, and it wasn't too bad. We arrived at Leicester at about 3 ish, and decided to load up on sausage rolls and meatpies and wait until it got dark, I hate traveling at dusk. The intention was to travel down the Fosse Way which passed within about a mile from where we lived. As soon as we got on the Fosse Way I realised it was a mistake. A narrow two lane road, with high camber, and the snow which had been melting had frozen. Some parts of the road were black ice from verge to verge. We ended up riding along the verge on the grassy bits. Then the headlamp bulb blew, onto sidelights, fortunately it was a very clear bright moonlit night. We stopped somewhere around Banbury where I saw a petrol place with a brazier burning. We huddled around that and the owner gave us some cups of coffee, no bulbs though!. I saw a sign for Newbury and headed for that, thinking to get onto the M4 which, along with the Fosse Way passed very close to home sweet home. We got on to the M4, and turned right. Then we encountered freezing fog, oh joy. Within a couple of miles my visor had frozen up, then my glasses, which I had to take off. The conditions didn't seem to affect the cars though, they were still coming passed at quite high speed, in close to zero visibility. I remember saying to Jan, that if we had to stop for whatever reason to hop off and get as far away from the road as possible. Fortunately there was no emergency. Not far from our turnoff, there was an intersection, and I could see a Police Range Rover there, so, as I could no longer feel my hands (despite silk inners, lined gloves, waxed cotton overmitts, and handlebar muffs) we stopped and asked if we could sit in their car for a bit to warm up, one of them said "No....there is a Service place a few miles up the road". So on we went. We eventually got home at about 3.00a.m. I had 1/4" of ice from the frozen fog, on my chest, my eyebrows and moustache where frozen, my eyes were banging around somewhere at the back of my skull. Then we discovered that we had no water the pipes had frozen!! It couldn't get any better than this.

From memory the frost that night was severe, something like 15 degrees below freezing.

Nevertheless I got to work early the next day, had a shower and walked into the office and was greeted by the boss with " God you look awful, I didn't really expect you in today, what with the snow and everything".

That was the day and a half when we decided to emigrate!!

cheers

Bill

Edited By Bill Pudney on 17/01/2016 02:43:49

Excellent story! Ditto, emigrating.

This time of year (Nov-Feb) is the best part of the year. No daytime humidity. Cool evenings and early mornings (10-12C), lunchtime a pleasant 25C.

KWIL17/01/2016 09:39:36
3477 forum posts
66 photos

Local hill around 1 mile from home, tanker stuck at the bottom, everyone turning around at the sight of it, looked like glass. Still with a 6 cylinder engine decided to have a go. "You wont get up there mate" was the challenge, eased it forward and just let her climb almost without touching the throttle, made it in one, quite chuffed, the drop down the other side was a bit hairy but not as steep!

fizzy17/01/2016 09:52:06
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1836 forum posts
120 photos

north west UK and -3 with 3 inches of snow

Neil Wyatt17/01/2016 10:48:22
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Moderator
18899 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Great story Bill!

I once cycled to work in -11, I had a beard at the time and it froze up, just like Chris Bonnington on Everest.

Neil

V8Eng17/01/2016 11:35:43
1654 forum posts
1 photos

Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns are in the shops, and the new Argos Catalogue is out.

These are the usual early signs that Spring is on its way, well in the UK anyway! devil

 

Just a light snowfall overnight in East Berks, not enough to really bother me.

 

Edited By V8Eng on 17/01/2016 11:42:41

Edited By V8Eng on 17/01/2016 11:43:09

Involute Curve17/01/2016 11:47:03
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337 forum posts
107 photos

I went passed Blackhall Rocks earlier today, I live about 10 miles away near Sedgefield, we have 2 inches of snow in out garden and black ice on the drive, I've worked in Sydney and Melbourne and many other warm countries, I kid you not,I would not swap, I prefer black ice to blazing sunshine, and I ride a motorbike all year round, weather permitting. lol

Mike Poole17/01/2016 12:59:24
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

This is my first winter since 1967 that I have not been on two wheels, cycled to school in all weathers then to work for the last 43 years, fell off on black ice 2 years ago for the first time ever and must have been comedy for anyone watching me trying to pick up a 480lb Trident when is was hard to just stand up. Bike just suffered a bent handlebar and broken clutch lever which was fixed quicker than me, my ribs hurt for weeks. Blew bike up in April and decided to rent a car on works scheme, hope it doesn't snow as it is a BMW which are famously crap in snow unless you put winter boots on them, not worth it in England I think.

Mike

John Alexander Stewart17/01/2016 13:57:32
821 forum posts
56 photos

Around here, the bicycle bikes can have studded tires for grip on ice. Motorcycles not on the streets.

High of -10 today, not too cold.

At least when we get a large dump of precipation, we can shovel it away and wait for it to melt, rather than having to renovate like the news showed happening around Britain recently.

No, I'm not enamoured with the cold weather any more, but I'll admit that on a cold, clear, crisp day, it is beautiful.

Harry Wilkes17/01/2016 14:13:51
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1265 forum posts
64 photos

My icy goes back to the early 70's I work in a steel works and drew one of the 2 short straws and got to work Christmas night most of the steel productions had been 'damped down' with the exception of the blast furnace, we got a call saying the stock yard crane which kept the furnace supplied with coke had no power it was now around 1 am it was snowing and the temperature was well below freezing and ice had formed one the live rails which were inverted angle iron and on the insulators causing a dazzlingly display of pyrotenics when the circuit breaker was closed ! having cleaned and dried the insulators down the entire length of the track we then found the ice was not allowing the power collectors on the crane to contact the live rails so in our wisdom we painted the underside of the rails with anti freeze we now had power only to find the crane couldn't get any traction due to the amount of ice that had built up on the track allowing the wheels to slip out again came the anti freeze and away we went but needless to say we remain on this job all night 100 ft up in freezing snow keeping this one crane in service it was a long cold night until 8.00 next morning never been so happy to see the next shift arrive !!!

H

norman valentine17/01/2016 14:27:55
280 forum posts
40 photos

My story is not ancient history, it is today! I live on the coast in Lincolnshire, not so cold but it has been quite damp recently. My driveway is a grassy uphill 20 degree slope. Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to get out twice and that is with a Land Rover! Traction control, hill descent control mean nothing when you are on semi-liquid mud. I need to get someone in to lay some hardcore,

daveb17/01/2016 15:32:26
626 forum posts
10 photos

In the 70s I was keen on winter motorbike rallies, north Wales in January was a favorite. We left London during a blizzard and the weather deteriorated from thereon. The icy conditions had stopped HGVs on the motorway, passing them was quite exciting because high winds were blowing them around like toys, many having been blown their sides. Roads were closed because they had simply disappeared under three feet of snow, snowdrifts buried flocks of sheep, cows froze solid. Worst winter for 50 years, etc. Great fun, how I miss it.

Mike Poole17/01/2016 16:14:48
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Moderator
3168 forum posts
72 photos

I did the 21st Dragon Rally in 1982, camping in the snow with two sleeping bags to keep warm, bonfire was nice on one side so had to keep turning round, great stories from all us drunken motorcyclists. There must be a good reason to ride 230 miles on a Saturday camp in the snow and ride home on Sunday but is was good fun.

Mike

oldvelo18/01/2016 21:09:54
280 forum posts
54 photos

Hi

Yes have seen "Black Ice" on on instance it was in Durham City around 1960 or before when steam locos where still in use and the "Flying Scotsman" came through the cutting at Nevilles Cross yes complete with discordant whistle screaming and sliding on tracks covered with "Black Ice" slid through the station and came to stand still on the embankment above Sidegate.

Was eventually assisted back to the platform by a Banker Engine.

Eric

here again18/01/2016 23:28:42
66 forum posts
I once camr across black ice on my first new motorcycle..On a very dark narrow lane in Sussex..A right angle bend around a church I took at 20 mph-well it was my normal speed! One second I was riding the BSA the next I thought I was riding the BSA rather painfully not realising motorcycle had dissappeared..I came to a halt still in riding position..
The only thong I dont understand is how I got away with the following 25 years on 2 wheels..Heavyweight Angels perhaps

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