A motorcyclist braving freezing weather conditions to commute to work, was warm solely in his thoughts for a brief moment, as he realised that his organ donorship card meant that someone may benefit if he should die on any one of the many ice covered bends and junctions on the way to work.
Over the past few days temperatures have plummeted to as low as minus 13 degrees, with Rochdale seeing lows of minus 6 degrees and snow fall across the weekend. This week there is still snow on the hills and grassy areas and the added hazard of black ice on paths and roads. Whilst many workers rise earlier in the morning to heat up their cars and scrape ice off the windscreen, the motorcyclist is busy putting on a pair of tights under their trousers, double bagging their socks and praying to any God that may be listening for a safe journey.
We asked Johnathan Gregson why he is braving the icy roads and sub-zero temperatures, he said
“Its more necessity than preference for me, I don’t have a car and my office is 12 miles away.” We asked if Mr Gregson’s employer undertakes a duty of care and makes any provisions for him; “Well, not as such, but they do send out one of the secretaries to spray De-icer on my gloves, boots and arse so I can get off the bike.”
Janice Barton watched in terror as her 17 year old son bid her goodbye this morning as he left to go to college.
“I’m not sure what was screaming louder, the two-stroke engine of the 50cc scooter trying to hit 5000revs from cold, or my son as he fishtailed down the road towards the T-junction.”
We caught up with another motorcyclist, Richard Sixsmith during his commute home.
“It’s bloody cold, it’s slippy , snot and tears freeze to your face, you lose all sensation; well, other than sheer biting sting on any piece of skin not wrapped in an inch of fabric.
“Your visor completely mists up with every breath, but if you lift it you risk having your eyes seasoned with road salt. Painted road markings and inspection covers become deadlier than Viet-Cong booby traps and to top it off, the bad car drivers now have increased braking distance, decreased visibility and a few inches of snow falling off the roofs of their cars into our paths. But we do it because we love it, there is no force of weather on earth that will stop me from loving my motorcycle.”
We asked Richard if he was ok, since we’d initially stopped not for an interview, but to check on his condition after we came across him lying prostrate in a layby, surrounded by twisted and broken pieces of his motorcycle.
“I’m not sure to be honest, I think my wrist may be broken, but it’s that cold I couldn’t feel my hands or legs before I crashed the bike anyway; is the operator still on the phone? Do they have any idea how long the ambulance will be?”
Whatever you drive, please be careful on the slippery roads folks.