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A20

A20 Strangford Lough, Co. Down to: Bishopscourt / Sunflower races ?

Ideal if you're going to the Bishopscourt races (and you should!) A20 Strangford Lough & Down Coast Circular, County Down Start this one anywhere, equal but different views if you reverse the route (almost prefer it.) Take the A20 south from Newtonards to Portaferry. Roads can be congested up to Greyabbey but open up along the Lough side (smell those sedentary depositis when the tide is out!). Some rolling hills towards Portaferry. Stop near the casellated ruin near Exploris which is up a slight hill from the (signposted) ferry if you like a visit the sealife museum there. Good caf1/ice cream dispensing. Take the ferry to Strangford (need some money but much cheaper for bikes). Even in the wet the open, chain-dragging ferry is reasonably safe with anti-slip paint. As the ferry jinks around you try and balance the ?bike. Bizzare or what ? Try this with some kind of overtall, top heavy trail bike with a full tank of fuel, but only if I1m watching please! Sorry. Get waived off the ferry, and take the first signposted turn left to Ardglass (A2), following the coastline South. As you emerge from Strangford you might see some seals basking in the shallows by a picnic / viewing spot. From here on the road is narrow and bendy but loadsafun. Pass via Ballyhornan to Ardglass. Great fish and chip shop (obvious). The B1 Downpatrick road on your right as you come in takes you to the Bishopscourt racetrack, home of the International Sunflower Trophy Races, close by. Excellent. This 3detour2 could be handy if the roads from Downpatrick are bunged. Through Ardglass keep going South to Killough, through Minerstown and past Tyrella Beach. There1s a pausing opportunity here too if you want axles buried in sand and to pay to park. Keep on the A2 and eventually over an old switchback railway bridge. Pass some weird winblasted stands of trees. Eventually you emerge on the main A24 Newcastle Belfast road. The possibilities are endless. North back to Belfast via Ballynahinch ? South to Newcastle and the Mournes ? The A25 to Downpatrick and the western shores of Strangford Lough through Killyleagh ? Or reverse the route ? Up to you but - enjoy.


B655

Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire to: Hitchen, Hertfordshire

Take the B655 out of Barton towards Hexton and Hitchen and as soon as you come out of the village it's into a slightly curved open blast of countryside. As you come up the slight rise a lovely right hand bend (be careful of the drop on the left!) takes you down into Hexton. It is here where it is worth slowing down to the 40mph speed limit for the 150 yards through the village as the bottom of the hill into Hexton levels off very quickly and sports bikes nearly ground themselves!

After going through the bottom of Hexton the road rises steeply and comes out of the 40mph limit, opening the throttle again sees a flurry of trees fly by before dropping round a fast left hander before rising again into a fast rising right before slowing to a 3rd/2nd gear sharp left hander. Opening the throttle again blasts you down the flat straight out of the trees and up the hill through a fast right hander and into another fast left (watch the rough tarmac!). A little wiggle left takes you onto the flat and round the fast slight left hander and onto another fast straight. Going back into the trees takes you into a quite fast right (be careful as it is on a deceptive slight rise making the bike very light!) and then into a good series of fast lefts and rights finsihing with a slightly sharper left. The trees then open as you blast along the last curvy straight. Caution must be taken towards the end of the straight due to a right hand bend with roads joining on either side, after which another quite sharp left takes you up the hill and into the 40mph which starts the slow down into Hitchen.

A cracking 4 mile ride which you can keep going over getting faster and faster with no reported police presence (after 4 years of riding the route) and not too much traffic. Bliss!


A377

Exeter to: Back to Exeter

Lovely road! 377 is 50-odd miles of twisty heaven, though surface is starting to go in places. Record is about 25 minutes !! However constant ton-plus easily poss. Narrow-ish road follows the river. Speed limits starting to pop up in stupid places, but few appearances from local Bill make these optional. Coming into Barnstaple take the (boring) A361 to Bideford - watch for Rozzers as they love this road - through the town, then join onto the A386 to Torrington (watch for some nastily sharp corners) - onto the B3220 through Beaford/Winkleigh - nice fast roads, and back onto the A377 about 15 miles before Exeter. Good route for a Sunday blast. Good weather normally brings a fair few bikers along the A377. note: Summer brings loads of tourists down here, mincing along at 20mph with their caravans. Hope you enjoy it. We have, for the last 6 years.


A 1065

Brandon to: Fakenham

This is now a great road since it has been mostly resurfaced and slightly widened. At about 30 miles or so you get can plenty of pleasure from the plentiful curves, some long and sweeping and some short and pretty aggressive. Don't forget the straights too, not so many of them but the ones that are there will give you that buzz when blasting past the four-wheelers ! Try it on a Sunday, morning and evenings are best !!


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