Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire to: Hitchen, Hertfordshire
Take the B655 out of Barton towards Hexton and Hitchen and as soon as you come out of the village it's into a slightly curved open blast of countryside. As you come up the slight rise a lovely right hand bend (be careful of the drop on the left!) takes you down into Hexton. It is here where it is worth slowing down to the 40mph speed limit for the 150 yards through the village as the bottom of the hill into Hexton levels off very quickly and sports bikes nearly ground themselves!
After going through the bottom of Hexton the road rises steeply and comes out of the 40mph limit, opening the throttle again sees a flurry of trees fly by before dropping round a fast left hander before rising again into a fast rising right before slowing to a 3rd/2nd gear sharp left hander. Opening the throttle again blasts you down the flat straight out of the trees and up the hill through a fast right hander and into another fast left (watch the rough tarmac!). A little wiggle left takes you onto the flat and round the fast slight left hander and onto another fast straight. Going back into the trees takes you into a quite fast right (be careful as it is on a deceptive slight rise making the bike very light!) and then into a good series of fast lefts and rights finsihing with a slightly sharper left. The trees then open as you blast along the last curvy straight. Caution must be taken towards the end of the straight due to a right hand bend with roads joining on either side, after which another quite sharp left takes you up the hill and into the 40mph which starts the slow down into Hitchen.
A cracking 4 mile ride which you can keep going over getting faster and faster with no reported police presence (after 4 years of riding the route) and not too much traffic. Bliss!
Ripon to: Harrogate
From A1 jctn 48 (Boroughbridge), head into Ripon on the B6265. Carry on thru Ripon on the B6265 towards Pateley Bridge. Cracking scenery on sunny evenings and nice dips, corners and straights. Watch out for side roads, prone to having cars pulling out of them. Stay on B6265 thru Pateley Bridge and go up Greenhow Hill. Take left turn signposted Harrogate and enjoy another several miles of open road over 'The Tops'. BEWARE...this road is occasionally monitored by the dreaded unmarked Impreza as a couple of riders have met their maker on this stretch before...Join A59 turning left towards Harrogate.
Ingleton to: Hawes
If you're ever on the way up to Kirby Lonsdale on the A65, take a right at Ingleton. The road is a cracking 18 mile stretch which ends in the little village of Hawes where many bikers stop on a Sunday. Some superb twisty bits. Watch out for the dip in the road. You'll be flying through the air before you see it if you're giving it some!! Need to slow down for the picnic area though, about half way up, as people park their cars either side of the road and then wander across the track. How inconsiderate!!
Brecon to: Hirwaun
The A470 from Brecon has already been submitted as a cracking ride. This route makes it better. After passing Pen Y Fan (bloody big mountain) and the first reservoir (Welsh water for the Midlands PLC), turn off onto the A4059 to Hirwaun. First mile uphill through Forestry, then open grazing land - the Beacons! Flat out bends, no speed interference people or boxes and nice white-painted stones alongside the road to remind you where the tarmac stops. Watch out for the sheep though (when in Wales......).
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