A20 Strangford Lough, Co. Down to: Bishopscourt / Sunflower races ?
Ideal if you're going to the Bishopscourt races (and you should!) A20 Strangford Lough & Down Coast Circular, County Down Start this one anywhere, equal but different views if you reverse the route (almost prefer it.) Take the A20 south from Newtonards to Portaferry. Roads can be congested up to Greyabbey but open up along the Lough side (smell those sedentary depositis when the tide is out!). Some rolling hills towards Portaferry. Stop near the casellated ruin near Exploris which is up a slight hill from the (signposted) ferry if you like a visit the sealife museum there. Good caf1/ice cream dispensing. Take the ferry to Strangford (need some money but much cheaper for bikes). Even in the wet the open, chain-dragging ferry is reasonably safe with anti-slip paint. As the ferry jinks around you try and balance the ?bike. Bizzare or what ? Try this with some kind of overtall, top heavy trail bike with a full tank of fuel, but only if I1m watching please! Sorry. Get waived off the ferry, and take the first signposted turn left to Ardglass (A2), following the coastline South. As you emerge from Strangford you might see some seals basking in the shallows by a picnic / viewing spot. From here on the road is narrow and bendy but loadsafun. Pass via Ballyhornan to Ardglass. Great fish and chip shop (obvious). The B1 Downpatrick road on your right as you come in takes you to the Bishopscourt racetrack, home of the International Sunflower Trophy Races, close by. Excellent. This 3detour2 could be handy if the roads from Downpatrick are bunged. Through Ardglass keep going South to Killough, through Minerstown and past Tyrella Beach. There1s a pausing opportunity here too if you want axles buried in sand and to pay to park. Keep on the A2 and eventually over an old switchback railway bridge. Pass some weird winblasted stands of trees. Eventually you emerge on the main A24 Newcastle Belfast road. The possibilities are endless. North back to Belfast via Ballynahinch ? South to Newcastle and the Mournes ? The A25 to Downpatrick and the western shores of Strangford Lough through Killyleagh ? Or reverse the route ? Up to you but - enjoy.
POLEGATE to: HASTINGS
The bypass from Polegate to Pevensey is now open. It is a balls out racer road with NO Junctions entering into or on it. From the Polegate Roundabout (A22) TURN towards STONE CROSS (hope it aint an omen) and towards Eastbourne (A259.) Cane your baby for about two miles until the roundabout then straight across towards Bexhill/Hastings. This is a balls out fast road. You will love it....BUT BEWARE...........A BLACK 3 SERIES BMW police CAR WITH LAST PART INDEX OF PTW, OR PTM.....ALL CAMERA'D UP...IF IT GETS YAH..JUST GO FOR IT....ALSO THEY have slow volvo t'5 all marked up and visible...ps..no speed camera's.........best time to enjoy the road sunday mornings...no police until middayish if at all!!!
Baldock to: Buntingford
9 miles in Hertfordshire, nicely undulating with some great curves. The road's in two sections, divided by the picturesque village of Cottered with it's excellent village pub (The Bull) and less excellent 30mph speed limit in this otherwise national-limit road. Both sections give ample opportunity for knee-down, but the Baldock half is fastest (easy ton-plus) and has a little solid-double-white-line towards the middle. The Buntingford half is a little tighter and has a nice tight S-bend. The road surface is generally very good but is a little bumpy in places. The route is terminated by roundabouts at both ends so it's easy to go around for another go :-)
Basingstoke to: Alton
Such a sweet, sweet road. However, if you're not careful it will kill you. It's a fast road with evil curves. Like a previous poster said, if you don't know this road very, very well, ride up and down it a couple of times taking it really easy and make sure you have a good picture of the curves. Do this midweek when it's quiet and watch the t-junctions. Take great care passing other bikers (they often drift over) and watch for oncoming vehicles crossing the white lines. You WILL encounter knobs on this road, don't be one of them. The aim of the game is to get the curves so, so right. Smooth is good, ragged is bad. Mid-corner speeds are impressive. Watch out at the kink for white-line crossers. Recommended tool: ZX-7R. Recommended attitude: Silky smooth. Recommended follow-up: Can't beat a shandy and ten Benson.
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