Wantage to: Swindon
What, another good road in Oxfordshire (see B4494)? This one is relatively slow and only a few miles long, but a real test of handling. Do not attempt to go fast on a Pan-European! The key section runs from Letcombe to Ashbury, past the famous White Horse (a great place to stop and picnic). Try it carefully on your first visit. It's VERY tight and twisty, swooping up and down enough to make you seasick, and has nice gravelly apexes, bumpy patches and barbed wire fences everywhere to add spice. But it's very satisfying when you get it right. Mid-week off-peak is best, and unfortunately should be avoided on Sundays, when the road fills up with hikers, cyclists, grannies etc.
Stratford to: Banbury
!7 miles of pure bikeing joy. After a visit to the waterside in Straford on a Sunday give this usually traffic free road a go. Best bit is the fast up hill left followed by slow steep uphill right at sunrise hill, get your speed and gears right and this is a very rewarding combination. The rest of the route is mostly fast sweepers but there are some slower ones and some are bumpy. Unfortunatly there can be the usual junk associated with farms and tractors after wet weather. Take care through the villages on this route. Otherwise enjoy.
Warwick to: Cirencester
This road has been referred to before as most of it is part of the Fosse Way. Lots of fast straights especially at the Cirencester end (120+) but watch for junctions and road surface. Some great bends but generally of the off-camber or tricky type. Keep a sharp eye out for police (i.e. don't scream along any straights unless you can see it's clear). Most of the police are to be found in the middle section and it's usual to spot 1 a day on a two-way blast. Watch for tourists (loads in summer), plenty of places to overtake so don't take any stupid chances (double white lines are there for a reason) and watch for concealed entrances, idiots, mud on road etc. Some of the corners can be dodgy due to road surface and the whole route is generally very bumpy and poorly maintained. In fact one stretch of the road is so bad they've put a ! sign at the side of the road. That's because if you do what I did and hit it too fast the first time you'll be saying f!!! me. Great road to test your handling - and your bottle if your handling fails it's test! Seriously though, take it easy the first couple of times and get to know it if you want to ride fast and enjoy it. NOT MUCH FUN AT NIGHT (you can't see the road surface early/well enough to ride it fast and you'll never memorize that many bumps!) Bear in mind it's not well suited to pillions either. Happy scratching.
Saxmundham to: Circular route
Turn off the A12 onto to B1119 towards Framlingham. This is a very twisty road with lots of tight corners to start with and opening up a little (getting faster) towards Framlingham. From Fram take the B1116 towards Dennington. Beware of the sharp 90 degree bends but enjoy the hump back bridge ! At Dennington go straight accross the staggered junction (over the A1120 - also a good road) and continue on the B1116 this section is a little bumpy for bikes of a nervous disposition. After 3-4 miles turn right towards Halesworth on the B1117. This road is great fun, especially the section around Heveningham Hall. The villages around here will make you think your bike is a time machine but beware of tractors, horses and various crap on the road, some of the junctions can be a bit gravelly. Halesworth is a bit dull so just pass straight through and make your way to the A12 at Blythburgh. Turn south and then Turn left immediatly after the White Hart pub (B1125). Follow this road all the way down to Leiston. From here you can either turn left towards Saxmundham and back to where you started or pass through and go to Thorpeness and its Biker friendly tea shops. Alternatively head further south past Snape Maltings and have some fun on the roads around Tunstall and Rendlesham Forests. Be warned, all the villages in Suffolk have 30mph limits and lots of places for the Police to hide, so knock it off when passing through.
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