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Caught out


Steve1962

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So I've been using the bike to commute to work , leaving home at around 5.30 am and arriving home at around 6.15pm . With the clocks going back an hour last weekend , that means that from Monday I'd be leaving work when it's dark , but I figured that would be ok as long as I kept my eyes peeled and monitor the weather .

Yesterday the forecast was for a bright , crisp but cold start to the day with possible ground frost in some rural areas [ ie where I live ] , and that it would cloud over later in the day with a chance of rain .

Having done my weather check when I arose [ checking to see if the puddle in the track rut just around the corner was frozen over or not ] , I duly donned all the gear , including my Klan heated gloves [ god bless the day I bought those ] , and rode to work , traversing the country lanes and Oxford ring road without any problem .

Work was very hectic , and I didn't get done until 5.45 pm , by which time it was dark , and had started to rain quite heavily .

No problem for me though , as the Pathfinder has heated grips and electric screen , I'm snug in my bike gear with toasty hands courtesy of the Klan gloves ....... so I negotiate the busy Oxford ring road , taking my time to make sure I keep safe and that no one has any mishap that may cause me harm ........... down the slip road off the ring road , and al of a sudden the wind got very strong , and the rain , in an instant , turned to snow ,blowing almost horizontally , racing around my head in every conceivable direction ....... ok , so time to hunker down , ride ever more cautiously and make sure no one else hits me ....... my route takes me past a small civilian airport on a dual carriageway which is an open and flat area , this was a tad hairy as the side winds were strong , but I got through that ok ...on through Woodstock past Blenheim Palace , then turn onto rural unlit roads that undulate , twist and turn across the top of open farm land , mixed in with heavily wooded areas , prime deer and pheasant country - these roads were covered in leaves , very slippery having been soaked by the earlier rain , and now being topped by heavy falling snow , and the wind roaring about ..... so I found this quite challenging , but used my knowledge of the roads to good effect , keeping me safe on my journey home .Eventually arriving home an hour and a quarter after leaving work , on a trip that normally takes me 35 minutes , I felt glad to have survived the ordeal , and although I LOVE to ride my bike , that is an experience I'd rather not repeat .

In hindsight , you might say that I took a risk bearing in mind the time of year , but at least I made it home in one piece , ready to ride another day .

 

Steve

 

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Francois_Dumas

Glad you made it safely home, Steve. Yes, this is the time of year that weather DOES catches us at times, even when keeping an eye on the forecasts. Happened to me too a few years ago.... temperatures dropped like a brick and hail stones plastered the road within minutes..... those things make an incredible noise on your helmet, by the way :grin:

 

The airfield would be Kidlington ??

 

Weather is promised to be better today!

 

Francois

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Francois,

Kidlington Airport is right . There are various routes I could take to get home , but that one is my favourite , more so when the weather is good as the rural road from Woodstock is " rewarding to ride " .

I ride a different route coming into work in the morning , one which is rural single track roads for about 10 miles before I reach the main route leading to Oxford from the west - I never take this route going home , as the local drivers in their big 4WD vehicles treat it as a rat run , and often use the whole road when bombing round the corners , leaving me very vulnerable on a bike as the run off area consists of trees [ ouch ] or stone walls [ ouch ] - I know I have a thick head , but even that would get slightly dented !!

 

Steve

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Nice n Easy Rider

Steve,

 

Glad to hear you made it home safely. Years ago I got caught in a blinding snowstorm and finally had to ask a motel owner to let me park it there while I rode the rest of the journey in the car with my wife, who had been following me. Driving in snow is definitely not fun for a large number of reasons.

 

I'm very fortunate that one of our local TV stations has a website that has live Doppler radar images of the area. So I can check for advancing weather problems before I leave for work in the AM or prior to coming home at night. I'll even arrange my schedule for coming home around the weather if it isn't covering too large an area.

 

Again, glad you made it safely.

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Be careful Steve , frozen pheasants will punch a big hole in that fairing of yours.

 

 

LOL ........... so far , the Pathfinder is a pheasant free zone .......

 

Steve

 

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