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.
milnrow to: milnrow
Mills and Moorland (and a Castle) This is a route I have constructed from several of the short runs I regularly use to blow away the cobwebs following a sh*tty day at work. I have never yet travelled it in its entirety.
Start at J21 on the M62. Aim for Rochdale centre, but at the first set of traffic lights bear right onto the road for Littleborough (via Hollingworth Lake). At Littleborough take the A58 over Soyland Moor. As you drop down the other side you will pass reservoirs on your right. Follow the road down to Ripponden. As you enter the village centre, turn right at the traffic light onto the A672 . This road climbs back up over the moors, under the M62, eventually dropping down into Denshaw. At Denshaw there is a 5 road junction, take the first left (A640-Huddersfield). Back up over the moors again. After about 6 miles you will pass over the M62 (again!), about 1 mile after that look out for a road on your right (Round Ings), which is opposite a pub called the Highlander (there can be only one!!!) Round Ings takes you over the M62. Follow this road up over the hill, keeping right at the top. Then merge right into the road coming out of the village, and follow this road all the way downhill into a village called Slaithwaite. This is a nice spot for a ciggie break. If anyone can eat a full portion of fish and chips from the chippie, then you are a better man than me!
Follow the road out of the village, over the canal and river, turning right at the village exit onto the A62. Follow this road through Marsden and back up over the Pennines. When dropping down the other side look out for a road forking off left to Uppermill. Go through Uppermill. On the exit of the village look out for the A635 Greenfield to Holmfirth road (this road is currently -may 2003- undergoing roadworks). Enjoy the road all the way to Holmfirth. When entering Holmfirth, turn immediately right onto the A6024, the road to Holme. This road climbs quickly to the TV transmitter mast. There is a car park to rest up and enjoy the view (and usually an ice cream van). After resting drop down the other side and at your first junction turn left onto the A628. Take care at this junction as you are turning back on yourself, and it is a blind juction for approaching traffic.
After about 6 miles, at the Langsett roundabout, turn left onto the A616 - Huddersfield. Travel down through New Mill, Brockholes (beware-speed tax cameras). Just before Honley, look out for a sign for the Railway Station to your right. Turn right up this road. At the T junction at the top of the road, turn left and follow the road round the hillside. After about 1 mile turn right in front of Castle Hill. Just around the corner you can access the road to climb up to the car park at the top of the hill. After having your ciggie, beer, coke (delete as appropriate) the only final complication is to find your way back into Huddersfield and the way home. Retrace your tracks back down the hill to the junction where you turned right (ie turn right to continue the road that you originally approached Castle Hill on) Stay on this road, through Almondbury, all the way until you eventually merge into the A629, heading into Huddersfield. You can take the ring road either way around the town centre. Turn off on the A640 -Rochdale- take this road out of the town centre and you will soon find yourself on familiar territory.
Points to consider on moorland crossings : I would not advise this route during windy weather, as it severely spoils the enjoyment of the roads. Beware of the many sheep, they are not the brightest of animals. You may find gravel and chippings on the racing line, that have been washed off the road sides during heavy rain. According to my map and a piece of cotton the mileage comes out at about 80 miles !!
Chipping Sodbury to: Cricklade
Basically two completely different stretches of road, bisected by Malmesbury in the middle. From the A46 ( Chipping Sodbury end) to Malmesbury has numerous 'dogleg' corners with a couple of 'ton up' straights. Plenty of 'technical corners' after that. From Malmesbury, take the 1 mile long bypass tothe next roundabout and rejoin the B4040 and on to Cricklade and the Cotswolds Water Parks if you want to try Jetskiing. This is the best bit!!! First straight is followed by a very technical section, including a 90 degree turn, a humpback bridge( together, but all visible) and a wooded section with sweeping curves and 'damp spots'. Great straights from here on to Cricklade. No Gatso's or Cop's in 4 years of nailing it. Never speed in the villages please! if you want a different return journey, try the B4040 back to Malmesbury, then take the B4014 to Tetbury and then the A433 ( past Charlie's house at Highgrove near Westonbirt) and A46 back to Bath. Another amazing ride in itself.
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.
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