Hertford to: Welwyn Garden City
Well what can you say from the minute you get onto the A414 at the Dusty Miller (Harlow end) and crank it open for a dream 5 miles of fast sweeping duel all the way to the roundabout at Stansted Abbotts, you're in a heap of trouble! cos they have just stuck up x2 50 mph speed cameras within 300 yards of each other cos all the berks in cars kept hitting each other and killing themselves at the cross the road junction to Hunsdon. When you continue along the A414 to Hertford you will be amazed at the sheer exhilaration of a full open throttle just past the newish Lancaster Merc dealer, down the hill to the next roundabout, along the straight to the next, hop across and then a sweeping right and left to the next roundabout, across, under the bridge, across the next roundabout, quick acceleration to 40mph as pold will be filming you at the junction, carry on past them a two fingered wave will do and then thrash it to the next roundabout, hop across and then climb up through the gears to full thrash for 3 miles and then smile. If you managed this then your a genious as Hertford is full of little shits being dropped off by mothers and therefore you have no chance. But try a late or early one and you will ENJOY!
Clitheroe to: Lancaster
From the A59 go into Clitheroe and pick up signs for Waddington, immediately after leaving Clitheroe you have a couple of miles of goooood surface, nod nod, go through Waddington very steady along side of stream out the other side following signs for Trough of Bowland, good roads plenty of twisties although you need to be good on some of them. Occasional cow shit on road. Good cafe (van) at the mid way point. continue same way following Lancaster signs untill you see a sign for Caton, if you miss it carry on to Lancaster, if you see it follow it through to the A6 where if you go right you go towards Lancaster if you go left, after 2 miles you are at junc 33 of the M6.
Welwyn Gdn City to: Harlow
As you leave Welwyn drop down on to the B1000 (via Panahanger golf course)and turn right at the bottom,then give it some,but beware of the small exit on left (village idiots) easy as you pass some cottages on right then settle in for the corkscrew, a left/right/left taken at about 85-90 (kph Mr plod honest)on the R1 its lovely and smooth good surface,beware of damp patches after rain.Then its a nice 1 1/2 miles between trees (watch for cars pulling out on right at works exit)respect the speed limits (almost).Come to the roundabout and turn right then at the next turn left,on to the main A414 head into Hertford and watch for the sneaky photographer set up in the pedestrian island just before the railway arch,straight over the round about and launch a minger off the crest under the arch,Wey hey ! then its through the towns dual carriage-way (nice when its quiet) follow the A414 out of town and up to the A10 cross over, all the way round (slippy when damp(BP garage)but nice Knee down in the dry)and take the last exit off(after A10 slip)wait until you pass the left turn for the rugby club and then give it some more,take the right at 130 and then set yourself up for the left at about 90ish,take a late apex to give yourself a good view around (met a Volvo doing a three pointer here ?)under the A10 and then steady until the roundabout.
From here you have a choice,I am not that keen on the straights,but comming off the roundabout on the A414 I usually go for it,to time myself until the foot bridge(best yet 163)just a quarter of a mile from the roundabout !!Then its back off,or on, depending on how you like it,until you get to the Harlow roundabout,where you can carry on til Sawbridgeworth,nice bends for 4/5 miles,or into doughnut city. Going back to the other choice you could have,you can take the second exit at the roundabout and head for Stansted Abbotts,watch the surface,some form of cobbles but as you leave the town Shell grip is laid down on a nice left and then a splendid right up hill and leaving it in third hoist another minger as you crest (at about 120 (R1s only).Follow this road through to the level crossing into Roydon(30 please)and then left for Harlow,or right for Epping grn(more on that the next time. Just a tip guys expect the worst,plan for it and ride safe
Portrush to: Larne
This is THE great biking road for those of you returning from the North West 200 to the ferry at Larne. Although it has, I think been nominated in 1997, it is well worth reminding any UK riders of it. After the races, take the A2 for Bushmills, home of the famous whiskey, and then follow this road from Bushmills to Ballintoy, passing the world famous Giants Causeway on the way. Well worth a visit. The A2 leaves Ballintoy heading for Ballycastle and along the way you will see a sign for Torr Head. This is a coastal road, and while it affords great sea views, it is not really suitable for sports bikes as it is very narrow and steep in places. Probably better to stick with the main road, which crosses over some high ground before descending into the village of Cushendun. Over the mountain top you will see plenty of sheep grazing along the roadside, but worry not, they are well used to traffic and wont even turn their heads as you go zooming by! A good fast smooth road links Cushendun to the slightly larger Cushendal, and from here the best bit begins. Down along the coast with the mountains on your right and the Irish Sea on your left. Its smooth, fast and frantic. Through Glenariff, on to Carnlough, where you can grab some grub, and on through Glenarm and Ballygalley into Larne where the P&O ferry to Cairnryan awaits. For those of you taking the Stena ferry to Stranraer, it is probably best to take the A8 to Belfast. It is possible to carry on the A2 to Belfast, but it is quite built up, with lots of traffic and the possibility of speed traps. Probably better to take the A8 the 20 miles to Belfast, but keep a good eye out for police on this road, as it is the main route to Larne Harbour and the cops are on it regularily. Enjoy!
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