At the end of 2009 a lot of the northern hemisphere was experiencing an extreme cold snap, with major cities across Europe, US and England being snow-bound. Public transport shut down and people were getting stuck in the snow when they tried using their own transport.
The photo on the left was taken in Middlesbrough. It was posted on a UK bike forum I belong to.
Further south, in Cambridge, another member said he got stuck in snow and it took him an hour to do the 15 miles to his work.
Forecast maximum temperatures for Middlesbrough around Christmas ranged from -1 to 3, with the wind-chill factor dropping that by at least 7 or 8 degrees. Minimum temperatures were all well under zero, with the lowest having a “real-feel” of  -14!
So what’s motorcycling like in that kind of weather? Well, here’s a story from another member of the forum, "Lampy", on how he handled his trip to work.

“I used the bike for work Saturday morning. Unfortunately it had sat outside for two days so it was covered in snow and frozen – literally! Brushed snow off seat, then had to pour hot water over ignition switch to thaw it. Went to use choke ..... frozen. More hot water. Throttle ..... frozen. Again, more hot water. Now, ignition on, yep. Choke on, yep. Press start ..... Fired up first time! Went to move it ........ front brake frozen! Also rear brake and gear shift. More hot water! Okay, time to jump on. Aah! The seat was frozen and like a block of concrete! I rode to work nice and steady but still had a few sideways moments. Indicators only working on one side ..... yep, frozen! Got to work in one piece, went to remove ignition key and it wouldn’t come out. You guessed it – frozen!
I pushed the bike into the workshop in front of a heater and it took 1hour and 10 minutes to thaw out and get everything working!
I arrived back home in a small blizzard; but enjoyed every minute!”

Enjoyed it!? How could anyone enjoy that? After reading that I reckon it’s no wonder that so many Brits move to Australia!
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