A17 to: top of Bayards Leap.
Take A17 from A1 towards Sleaford. This road used to pass through Leadenham, up Bayards Leap and then past RAF Cranwell. If you take a left turn just before the A17 Extension ( Bayards Leap Bypass)which is a 3 lane road, you will work through Leadenham village and arrive at a set of Traffic Lights. Go Straight On. This will take you up the original Bayards Leap, a very steep hill with tightening bends before and during. Turn left at the top to put you back onto the A17 Sleaford Rd. About 2 miles further on is the Bayards Leap Cafe on the right, a perfect place for a cuppa before you either continue towards the coast or turn back and do Bayards all over again in the opposite direction. Its well worth doing Bayards a good few times in one day to get the best out of it. I always do the original Bayards Leap whenever I'm out that way and usually do it two or three times in each direction.
Andover to: Newbury
I am blessed that this is the road I get to travel to work on every day. OK, most of the time I wimp-out and take the car, but on the bike, it puts a smile on my face. Here it is. As you leave Andover under Enham Arch you are tempted by a short stretch of dual carriageway interspersed with a couple of fast clearview roundabouts - get the tyres warmed up here. Give it a quick blast on the short stretch of open road between Andover and Enham, but watch out 'cos this road holds flood water for days after rain. Steady through Enham and don't be tempted to wind-it up too quickly 'cos the first right hander is tight. Now you can go. Into the dip and then into the forrest stretch (some nice twisties - watch out for pheasents and deer) before emerging high above Hurstbourne.
If the conditions are right and you are on the road early in the morning, you may now be given a real treat as you aften get a cloud inversion in the Valley below. It looks stunning as you descend from clear skies into mist. The drop into Hurstbourne is quite steep, over the bridge, lovely double-s (slow though and steady for villagers). As you come out of the village you get a clear view up the hill - wind it back here and burn-off the slowbies. Fast right hander at the top and then power on down the straight past Essebourne Manor. The next bit I find tricky. A sweeping downhill righ-hander through the forrest, followed by a moderatley tight lefty at the bottom. I don't know if its a slight unfavourable camber, or 'cos I've seen two many cars ploughing fields here, but that combo plays on my mind and I always tighten-up! Now a couple of fast bends and up and downy bits (good stuff) before a long up-hill straight through the trees (this looks stunning coming the other way). At the top, another combo, this time a lefty, followed by a down-hill right and then a fast left, before hitting the straight past the Yew Tree. Steady thro' Highclere, under the A34 and onwards into Newbury.
If you do this in reverse, watch out for speed-traps: (i) as you come out of Highclere and (ii) at the bottom of the hill as you enter Hurstbourne. Have fun. About 15 miles of it.
Leicester to: Peterborough
Very very fast, big bike stuff. I'm surprised there's not more bikers on it. Not very twisty but lots of swooping bends, fast straights, very long, very very fast (110 - 120mph +) uphill & downhill sections, good visibility. Not much traffic if your an early riser but lots of space to overtake anyway. I've never timed myself on a bike but a few years ago, one very clear summer evening, I went from Bushby(Leicester) to Castor(Peterborough) in 24 minutes in my VW Corrado G60. A good rider should beat this easy on a decent bike. Email your time if you do. Distance, about 35 miles end to end.
Watch out for the FIVE O outside of Leicester and on the dual caridgeway into Peterborough.
Nuneaton to: M42
A good summer Sunday run this one (We go from Nuneaton) Out of Nuneation past the Graziers Pub, the first couple of miles to the A5 are a good warm up, and decides who's leading and chasing. Across the A5 and its brain out time! Past Fenny Drayton village watch out for the cross roads, then nail it into the Drayton bends. Get 'um right and you'll go over the rise to Sibson like rocket! Fast downhill sweepers now till the village (Slow it through the vallage as theres a turning on the left - 2 bike deaths in as many years) Once past, knock it down and go, the lazy 's' bends out of the village are sweet but be on your guard for the junction at the top of the hill. It's downhill again then with a really fast right, left, right sweep onto the Twycross straight (Top speed duel time). Through the village and there is a straight, bend, straight section till you get to a 90deg right by the zoo entrance thats a bit of a pig (I always go in too fast). Then its on the gas again (note junction on right hand side), careful for sidewinds as this bit is pretty exposed, and down into the right hand sweeper that takes you into Appleby Parva. It's a sprint then to the M42 island. Knee down round it and back the way you came, turning left at the junction just before the zoo. down to the Moore's arms in Norton Juxta Twycross, for a drink, and a chat with the others doing the same run! Then its back to Nuneaton to the Graziers for stories of heroics and soiled skids!! - See you in the summer
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