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A86

Laggan to: Spaen Bridge

I was on holiday in Scotland a couple of years ago and this was my trip to the shops. It's abour 30 miles of beautiful scenery fabulous bends and very little traffic.

Laggan is just off the A9: come off on the A889 at Dalwhinnie, (only do the distillery trip on the way back, please!) or Kingussie. At the other end, Spaen Bridge is just a few miles from Fort William.

The stretch alongside Loch Laggan is the best, with rocks on one side and water on the other. But the roads are good quality all along, with plenty of space and a good surface, (last time I was there). And of course bends. There are a few more-or-less straight bits - just enough to catch your breath before the next set of twisties. The first time I did it was in miserable wet weather and it was still brilliant!


A5012

Cromford to: A515

This road is both fantastically twisty and exceptionally beautiful. Pocket Rocket territory, then right on A515 to Matlock. This road swoops and soars over the low Peaks, not much in the way of bends but great speed (up to 70mph at least!).

Known locally as Via Gellia. You should point out that the A515 is heavily patrolled by the boys in blue, unmarked cars......be circumspect especially just right towards Buxton long inviting straights. Once into Buxton, head past the Hospital and up towards Whalley Bridge past the Goyt Valley.If you think the A5012 is good this is even better and better still coming back (mainly uphill) but be advised it takes no prisoners.

I'd add my weight to the A5012 being a GREAT route. However it may be worth adding that if you then continue up the A515 to Buxton that you should keep an eye open for the boys in blue. This is a favourite section for them to pull bikes and cars. It's so straight that people race along it, but there are some tricky blind summits and there have been a lot of accidents (mainly cages). The police tend to sit on the top of a long incline so they can time people between the white timing marks on the road as they approach. They also used to operate a variety of unmarked police cars (even a VW Golf once). Fortunately I've never been stopped, but a warning on the page wouldn't go amiss (here it is ed.). I've never seen anyone being stopped on the A5012 except for the 30mph approach to Cromford where I've seen a handheld radar gun in use, so go easy here also. A few more warnings about the A5012 are that at this time of year it's pretty slippery as it tends to collect and retain a lot of the fallen leaves. Also there are a number of quarries on this old Roman route (the Via Gellia) which a) are slow if loaded and b) cause a lot of nice slippy limestone to be spread around the entrances. There is one short section between a sharp right and sharp left (going towards Buxton) where a big pool collects after heavy rain. There is usually a temporary flood sign but don't go racing on dark nights during a storm! If you keep to the crown of the road you should avoid most of the puddle.


A697

Morpeth to: Lowick

I was heading up from London, on a break in Northumberland, heard it was a lovely place and I had been recommended an Inn, in a place called Lowick nr Berwick upon Tweed. Just North of Newcastle upon Tyne, I took the A697 off the drudgery and speed cameras of the A1, still heading North, it was a beautiful day and the dramatic Northumberland landscape opened up in front of me. (This section to the Wooler B6525 junction is approx. 50-60 miles) There are some wonderful long straight sections on this road mixed up with swooping bends and tight hairpins. The landscape is breathtaking and rugged, but beware, although a good surface, at fast speeds the road demands all your concentration. I did only notice one camera and that was a 30mph through one of the small villages, Long Horseley. North of this village is probably the most exciting and fastest (if you're so inclined) sections. Eventually, I came into Wooler and, took the B6525 East back towards the A1 and my destination. Again this road was outstanding, with even less traffic, apart from the odd car and tractor. Approximately 8 miles to Lowick now and after negotiating and absorbing, possibly the most outstanding ride I've ever had, I turned off at Lowick (B6353) and was ready for the wonderful hospitality I received at The Black Bull, Lowick. The entire trip is very much recommended.


N 90 start

Albertville via St, Jean de Maurienne to: Briancon via the Col De Galibier .France

Well, as my fav. road is already mentioned here (Hexham to Penrith) I'll go abroad and to the French Alps. I've done this 1 a few times and it is worth the trip. as an ex TT rider i think i can appreciate a good bike road and this is it! Get yourself to Annecy, its beautiful, and down to Albertville then onto the N90 and turn off for St Jean de Maurienne. Then onto the D902 to Valloire which is a ski resort , so go in the summer! Camping. The road then goes onto the climb up to the summit of the Col de Galibier. Great views followed by a magnificent drop down to Briancon, twists turns the lot.Fast sweepers and some wangly bits. We shocked some germans on it 2 years ago and i was on my 81 CX 500 withy lots of luggage, they were on 1100 Bee Emms. Lots more good routes in this area. Col de Madeleine just before this etc . Go for it !!


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