Denbigh to: Cerrigydrudion
For the best mix of biking roads, incredible scenery and cack your pants laughs you really can't beat North Wales. Just go anywhere, and if your making the trip aim for Betws-y-Coed town centre and stop off at Dill's Diner to meet a like minded crowd. This road is not the fastest, but is almost guaranteed to be quiet even on bank holiday weekends and Sundays. It cuts across Denbigh Moor, past the Clocaenog forest and comes out on the A5 (which is ferkin amazing start to finish). The B4501 has some great bends, some well scary drops with sharp corners appearing from nowhere and, for the most part, excellent visibility. When you reach the A5, turn right towards Betws-y-Coed for a few miles until you see the left turn to Ysbyty Ifan. This is a lane for about 3-4 miles which goes through a small village then goes for 13 miles over more Moor's. You will find half a dozen points to get airborne on this road - it is spot on. You will come out near Trawsfynydd - if you go straight through and up the hill past the Slate Mine you will go over the Crimea Pass - another heart stopper. Yes, I binned my brand new CBR600 up here after only 2 weeks! This road brings you nicely into Betws-y-Coed, and you can head out in any direction for a good crack. The best thing about these roads(not the A5) is the lack of the boys in blue, so get out here and do it!!
nr. Harlow to: same!
This road is as long or short as you want to make it! The A414 is sheared on the A10 so make sure you take the southernmost (westbound) Chelmsford/Harlow junction. Under the A10 is a wonderful roundabout where you can lean as far as you dare. Big, wide, isolated, excellent surface and few entry points. Bright and early on a summer Sunday is best! For ideal cornering fun it would be a bit smaller (ie, slower) but then it would take less time to go around and you'd be more at risk of annoying the car drivers.
Hockliffe to: Luton
Start this ride at Wheels International in Hockliffe, north of Dunstable. It's a mix of scenery and great scratching. Turn right out of the bike shop and right again at the lights for a nice fast windy road to Woburn. Once there turn right into woburn Park and stick to the limit through the grounds (watch for cattle grids). Come out the other end into some great twisty country lane with excellent visibility (possibly some deer/horses on this stretch). You will come to a fork in the road after a couple of miles, Take the right fork to Tingrith (You can go left if you want some suicidal tight hilly bends, This will take you to Flitwick but you wont want to stay there for long :-) Once in Tingrith keep bearing right until you come under the M1 to the A6120 Go straight across this rd and keep bearing left towards Sharpenhoe. Eventually you will reach the A6 which is as fast as you want South towards Luton. The whole journey has virtually no traffic or gatzo's and the roads are old but great through a mix of fields and woodland. I've done this route in the wet and dry with no problems. Turn back to Hockliffe and you can have a hot choccy or coffe and a fag in the bike shop while deciding on your next dream machine Or turn off the A6 into Barton le-clay and take the astounding Hexton road to Hitchin which has been beautifully re-surfaced just for your pleasure.
Northallerton to: Northallerton
The beauty of this route is that it can be started / finished anywhere round it. Its about 70 miles long (or round !). Leave Northallerton on the A168 heading south toward Thirsk. Once you're out of Northallerton, loads of long straights with some great sweeping corners. Follow the road signs into Thirsk, turning left at the r/about, signposted A170 toward Scarborough. Great approach road to 1 in 4 Sutton Bank climb. Watch out for the sharp right hander at the top. Very easy to get carried away blasting to the top ! Cafe & parking at the top. Great smooth roads accross the top, BUT watch out for Plod. Very easy to go very fast on this section (as if !). Great long downhill section with a sharp left hander at the bottom.
Into Helmsley. Loads of Cafe's & Pubs to take your pick from. Then the best bit. From Helmsley, head along the B1257 toward Stokesley. Absolutely brilliant stretch of road. Watch out for the off camber right hander at the bottom of Bilsdale Bank, near to the old red telephone box. But BEWARE, this section of road is regularly quite heavily Policed (especially at weekends) with Plod in all manner of disguises, carrying all sorts of unfriendly Biker 'weaponary'! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !
Stop off at the Bay Horse at Great Broughton. Great Biker friendly country pub. Carry on thro' Great Broughton down to the r/about. Take the 2nd turn off into Stokesley. Left at the next r/about. Great Fish & Chip shop on the right as you enter Stokesley. Thro' Stokesley following the road signs for Hutton Rudby. Just out of Stokesley, look for the 1st right turn opposite a Farm & head towards Seamer. Great 'B' road which is usually quite quiet. Thro' Seamer & another village, Hilton, until you reach the A1044. You'll know you're in the right place cos' the Fox Covert Pub is directly in front of you (another excuse to stop ?). Turn left onto the A1044 heading towards Yarm. Down & up Leven Bank until you reach a r/about. Straight on heading west on the B1264. Lots of straights, twists & turns. Another excellent section. Turn left at the 'T' junction at the end, heading back towards Northallerton on the A167. Enjoy ......
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