Thatcham to: Theale
Not a great road but a useful alternative to the A4 when its busy (which is to say most of the time). Start from Harts Hill Road at the east end of Thatcham then follow road through Upper Bucklebury, Chapel Row and Southend. After about 8 miles you come to a T-junction. Turn right, then right again at the A340 to take you back on to the A4. Although unclassified, its fast and has many overtaking opportunities. But beware animals and hidden side turnings - take care.
Newbury to: Swindon
Starting from Newbury take the A4 to Hungerford. The road can be busy but there are many wonderful overtaking opportunities, wide and with good vision. Leave Hungerford on the A4 towards Marlborough but quickly turn right onto the B4192. I did this on a Saturday at 11am and there was very little traffic, just some great straights, a couple of very pretty villages and enough bends to satisfy those much braver than me. The only trouble is you end up in Swindon but you can then go up to Faringdon on the A420, to Wantage on the A417 and then back to Newbury via the B4494, a great road. The whole journey is about 45 miles with lots of stopping off places.
Inverness to: Ullapool
Now this just HAS to be the best biking road in GB, let alone Scotland. Take the A9 from Inverness to Tore (ordinary old main road). At Tore go onto A935 and start to enjoy yourself. If you're peckish, stop at the filling station just before Garve and have yourelf a wee snack. I can recomend the Breakfast Rolls. Once past Garve itself, the road starts to open out and the speed goes up. Just past the Aultguish Inn and the snow gates, the road climbs and widens along the side of Loch Glascarnoch. It is well surfaced and is one sweeping bend after another with good views of what's coming the other way (usually not a lot). This is ton plus country. Once past the Loch, it's sweeping bends and long straights all the way to Corrieshalloch Gorge (where there's a catering caravan - we Scots like our tea!!). From there, it's a gentle canter for the remaining miles to Ullapool. If you're into camping, the site is at the end of the village, past the ferry terminal. If not, there is a Youth Hostel on the main street or there are many B&B's. The pubs are all good, but very busy in the summer months. The pub beside the ferry terminal has a fish restaurant above, which is good and reasonably priced. Every thing seems to stay open until well after 10pm in season. Being in the wilds, there's not much sign of Law & Order, but BEWARE! the guy from the Caravan Site was clocked (and booked) somewhere between Glascarnoch and Corrieshalloch at something about 140! - You have been warned, just because you can't see the Polis, don't mean to say they aint there!! Yes, it's some piece of road. Even I, an upstanding officer of the Law, have been known to give it the berries on this fine piece of the road makers art. Keep the shiney side up and ENJOY!!!!
Harlow to: Finchingfield
The A414 from Harlow to Chipping Ongar 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.
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