Harlow to: Baldock
Although not a biker, I drive a Caterham and enjoy the same types of roads. Excuse the copying to start with. Take the A414 from Harlow to Chipping Ongar which has some good bends but a few double white lines. At the Four Wantz roundabout (BP garage) turn left onto the B184 to Great Dunmow, when you get to the T junction after about 7 miles turn right on to the A1060 Chelmsford. Then after about a mile turn left back onto the B184. Go through Great Dunmow High street, it's a bit narrow but loud pipes do sound good. As you leave Dunmow turn right onto the B1057, which is on a left hand corner. This road will take you all the way to Finchingfield. The road surfaces are all pretty good and there are some good corner combinations with a left hander that just gets tighter and tighter between Dunmow and Finchingfield. When you get there, there is a good biker friendly pub on a big green that gets really busy in the summer. At the green, turn left onto the B1053 to Saffron Walden. This road is mostly empty even in the summer and has a few fast sections but plenty of corners with varied visability - there are several villages to be passed before arriving at Saffron Walden. When you arrive at the top of the High Street, turn left following signs to Bishop Stortford then right at the small roundabout and then straight over the first mini-roundabout and left at the second mini-roundabout (almost immediate) onto the B1052 heading West. At the T-junction, turn right onto the B1383 and first left (1/2 mile) onto the B1039 to Barley. There is a 30mph limit as soon as you turn onto this road - but opens up when you've past through Wendens Ambo. Keep going until you reach Barley, where you pass under the arch for the Fox& Hounds. Optionally, turn right here onto the B1368 and head to Flint Cross (take care here as there is typically a fatality each month between car drivers - nearly found out the hard way) where you take a right/left dogleg to Newton where the Queen's Head beckons. Otherwise, turn left onto the B1368 towards Hare Street where you turn right onto the B1038 to Buntingford. Then take the well known A507 to Baldock.
Buntingford to: Newmarket
Turn off the A10 at Buntingford on to B1038 - Although this route is peppered with villages there are some opportunities to go really fast in between. Sometimes a bit mucky but a good mixture of lefts and rights, up and downhill corners and straights. At Newport turn left briefly onto B1383 and then turn right onto B1052 (Saffron Walden) and follow this road all the way to Linton. This section has some great moments with some knee down opportunities and one bit which has some smooth and fast snaking with open view of the road ahead (getting through Saffron Walden can be tricky - TAKE SIGNS TO TOWN CENTRE PAST TWO MINI ROUNDABOUTS. WHEN YOU GET TO TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT TOWN CENTRE, TURN RIGHT AND THEN FOLLOW ROAD STRAIGHT ON). At Linton follow signs for Balsham. Once through Linton its a short run to Balsham which is the living shit if you like it fast,bumpy and safely tankslappy. Follow B1052 through Balsham (slowly, I know people who live there) and stay on the same road all the way to Newmarket where, at some point, it will have miraculously cahnged into the B1061. This section has better Tarmac than the previous roads and some lovely corners but it also boasts the only speed cameras I am aware of on this route.
Hertford to: Hertford
Combines a couple of the great routes already on this site. Out of Hertford west on A414 // Right at Hertingfordbury up onto Thieves Lane // left onto B1000 towards Welwyn Garden City // Nice twisty road with a downhill corkscrew mid way // right hander after corkscrew is deceiving (oncoming cars tend to run wide and has claimed to two bike fatalities // past Tewin and Welwyn turnoffs // follow though Digswell (speed bumps and lane narrowing // Over roundabout onto A1000 DualCW // Go under A1 // Straight over roundabout still on A1000 // At Clock Hotel take Left to Welwyn village//Take B656 Codicote Road (Ed note: A reader advises me that this road has been attracting some accidents, so take care, particularly on the corner by Vanstones Garden Centre // Follow through to Hitchin
twisties and quick but watch for Garden Centre Volvos and scrap yard on RHS (lorries/parking/oil)// At Hitchin take A602 East towards Stevenage // Under A1 (Stevenage North Junction) and take B197 through Graveley // at T left towards Letchworth and loop back round and take the A6141 into Baldock // At Tesco go straight over roundabout// right at next roundabout onto A507 to Buntingford // top road but plenty of speed traps (never got this road right !) // At Buntingford roundabout go South onto A10 // Do a couple of laps of the Puckeridge Indy Circuit (dualcw between the N and S Puckeridge roundabouts // back South on A10 // At Thundridge Go right onto B158 by Anchor Beefeater (twisty) // Follow B158 to Bengeo and into Hertford // Check tires are now feathered to shit...// Early Sunday evening is good and you get to do the A507 with the sun on your back. // Police generally in Gravelly area and on A507
Barton-le-Clay, Beds to: Newton, Essex
Join the A505 at Barton heading towards Hitchin and start with a maxed out straight half a mile climbing up to the first of the med/fast sweepers almost all of which are much faster than they look (where's your bottle ?) and half of which are blind so you can't resist going back and doing it again just to prove a point. Slow down going through the village of Hexton, which is a real shame cos it's really a chicane not a village, then pump it up hill, blind right, don't back off - it'll work. Take it easy on the red tarmac corner (decreasing radius) then basically hammer it all the way through a series of S-bends until it straightens out. Watch out for cars turning across your path here, the junction's on the crest/bend, then ignore the SLOW sign on the fast left, it lies (although you may meet a tractor cos there's a farm entrance, your call,)and slow down going through Hitchin. Turn right at the main roundabout towards Stevenage, round the bypass to another one and exit to the B565 Codicote (described well elsewhere but mistakenly called both the A656 and the A507)this is a good road, and it gets faster every time I ride it, most bends have +'ve cambers, visibility is good or at least you can see the line of the hedges ahead and there's that nice blend of enough cars to carve past and yet not so many that they get in the way. It's not exactly a race track, but all the corners are of the type that makes you feel you got it close to perfect. When you get to Codicote keep going to Welwyn, then bomb up the A1M for a couple of Junctions (I haven't found a better way - there are lanes but too narrow/slow for any fun, so best just get it over with) and join the A507 to Baldock and then on to Buntingford (described elsewhere) then go into Buntingford (Little Chef on your right) and take a left down the A1038 towards Quendon which is for the most part med/fast and twisty and seems to go on for ages once you're past the dogleg X-roads. Apparently there's a good road (A1060) from Bishops Stortford (2 mins from Quendon) too so God knows where you could end up. These roads aren't the ultimate dog's bollocks but this is Beds/Herts/Essex not Dartmoor or Buxton. I defy anyone to do this route without having a YEEE-HAH or three.
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