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.
Kibworth to: Uppingham & Back
Start at the Rose & Crown Pub in Kibworth Harcourt, point your bike towards Market Harborough and take the first left (200yds) end of the road go left then first right. Nice country road, twisty and fast, watch out for tractors and horses! Follow road to the end then go left towards Melton Mowbray. Faster country road with nice surface. 4 Miles turn right on the A47 towards Uppingham. Head down here and ride like the possesed. First roundabout is about 10 miles along A47, turn right towards Uppingham, failure to get knee burnt here results in an instant failure!! Take your time through Uppingham, lots of pedestrians, and for some reason they like to jump out in front of you! Straight through the lights, down the hill, private school area, take your time, when you reach the top of the other side GLF. Plenty of bends, nice road surface, great view of Eyebrook Res'r. Head towards Corby. Watch out for the traffice lights over narrow bridge, easy to miss as the adrenalin is still pumping. After the lights is the mad mile (you will know when you see it) dead straight and top speed here was 150 (so I heard). Slow throught Rockingham and head towards Market Harborough. The Roundabout before Harborough gives you the option of mad bypass speed or show of the bike throught Market Harborough, looking in the shop window and thinking wow I look good. A6 towards Kibworth and hey presto your back where you started from with a stupid smile on your face.... I ride the CBR600F.... Nice for the journey
Stratford to: Banbury
!7 miles of pure bikeing joy. After a visit to the waterside in Straford on a Sunday give this usually traffic free road a go. Best bit is the fast up hill left followed by slow steep uphill right at sunrise hill, get your speed and gears right and this is a very rewarding combination. The rest of the route is mostly fast sweepers but there are some slower ones and some are bumpy. Unfortunatly there can be the usual junk associated with farms and tractors after wet weather. Take care through the villages on this route. Otherwise enjoy.
Kington to: Aberystwyth
This route covers approx 50 miles through the Cambrian mountains (hills really). It's an exhilarating ride following fast flowing rocky rivers,hills and forestry. The corners are out of this world, there fast with good visability and excellent grippy surface's. There's no worn tarmac,potholes etc that have a tendency to install fear in all of us. There are no fixed speed cameras in any of the national speed limit areas of this route, so safe fast riding is achievable. The Foresters Arms in Llanfihangel-Nant-Melan is a nice biker-friendly stop with a good cup of coffee.
Enjoy this route like i have many times remembering to keep to the speed limits through the villages and where applicable. Take a breather,put your visor up,relax your wrists and get ready for the next awesome section of this route. Neil.Cardiff.GSXR-750.
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