Chipping Norton to: Stratford
This road is one of the best I know... Fast? O yes. Flowing? Most of the time... and no speed cameras outside villages, hidden cars, etc.! Best way to ride it is to ride one way at a reasonable and safe speed to learn the road, good overtaking bits, etc., and then enjoy yourself on the way back! There's a good petrol station just inside Stratford where there is enough forecourt space for cold bikers to park & warm their hands against their engines... Riding from Oxford I also find the road up to Woodstock and then to Chipping Norton pretty good too.
Thirsk to: Thirsk
Leave Thirsk on A168 to Northallerton. Watch this stretch as it's close to Kirby Wiske where the Police headquarters are.....abundance of Hedge Twitchers in Volvo's..etc, etc. Go straight thru Northallerton high street over level crossing and turn left at the mini roundabout onto the B6271. Enjoy sweeping bends as you pass thru Yafforth, Great Langton and Ellerton on way to Richmond. Go thru Richmond on the A6108 towards Leyburn. Some sharp bends here, but good scenery again. Thru Leyburn and stay on the A6108 thru Middleham, East Witton, Masham and into Ripon. Exercise some caution on this Leyburn/Ripon stretch as they regularly dowse the road in that bloody awful and downright dangerous gravel covering on tar....Loose chippings on some corners. Upon reaching Ripon, turn left on A61 to Thirsk for a quick blat home.
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.
Helensburgh to: Helensburgh
Leave Helensburgh on the A814 heading for Garelochead. This is a collection of 30's, 40's and 50's with the occasional watchful cop so don't go too mad. Turn right at the first roundabout at the north gat eof the Faslane Naval Base.This is where the twist grip starts to get abused. This road is'new'and offers drag racing or sustained wheelying opportunities. Go straight through the first rounabout and turn right at the second onto the A814 again, known locally as the Arrochar road. This beauty follows the contours of Loch Long and is a mad selection of sheep, blind crests and jumps which are guaranteed to test your suspension and bottle. Your arse will be pulling the buttons out the saddle by the time you arrive in Arrochar.
Stop at the Pit Stop Diner for a decent scoff and bullshit with other bikers. Take the A83 over to Tarbet and then the A82 to Crianlarich. This is a peach of a road, nowhere for the cops to hide with twisties all the way to the Drovers pub at Inverarnan, another good stop. Head up to Crianlarich and go left for Tyndrum. This is another fast section but watch out for the big right hander before Crianlarich, you may be going a tad fast to get round it. The Green Welly shop in Tyndrum offers, fuel, scoff and even a dedicated bike park!
Take the A85 to Dalmally through Glen Lochy. This is a real fast bit of road with sweeping bends and a good surface. If you feel like stopping, the views are spectacular. Beyond Dalmally, take a left onto the A819 for Inverary. The first section is along the banks of Loch Awe, mostly blind twisties with the odd dodgy surface so beware. The second section is up along the top of the hills. This section is resurfaced every year it seems so watch for loose chippings but apart from that it is a fast sweeping road with plenty of long straights too. Stop in Inverary for lunch at the George Hotel or shoot the shit with other bikers down at the pier. Take the A83 back to Arrochar. This bit has some good fast sweepers too, namely round the head of Loch Shira and Loch Fyne and a good surface. Watch out for cops at the Dunoon turn off and up over the 'Rest and be Thankful'. Back in Arrochar, take the A814 back down the side of Loch Long watching for the sheep you missed on the way up!
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