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.
Harlow to: Baldock
Although not a biker, I drive a Caterham and enjoy the same types of roads. Excuse the copying to start with. Take the A414 from Harlow to Chipping Ongar which has some good bends but a few double white lines. At the Four Wantz roundabout (BP garage) turn left onto the B184 to Great Dunmow, when you get to the T junction after about 7 miles turn right on to the A1060 Chelmsford. Then after about a mile turn left back onto the B184. Go through Great Dunmow High street, it's a bit narrow but loud pipes do sound good. As you leave Dunmow turn right onto the B1057, which is on a left hand corner. This road will take you all the way to Finchingfield. The road surfaces are all pretty good and there are some good corner combinations with a left hander that just gets tighter and tighter between Dunmow and Finchingfield. When you get there, there is a good biker friendly pub on a big green that gets really busy in the summer. At the green, turn left onto the B1053 to Saffron Walden. This road is mostly empty even in the summer and has a few fast sections but plenty of corners with varied visability - there are several villages to be passed before arriving at Saffron Walden. When you arrive at the top of the High Street, turn left following signs to Bishop Stortford then right at the small roundabout and then straight over the first mini-roundabout and left at the second mini-roundabout (almost immediate) onto the B1052 heading West. At the T-junction, turn right onto the B1383 and first left (1/2 mile) onto the B1039 to Barley. There is a 30mph limit as soon as you turn onto this road - but opens up when you've past through Wendens Ambo. Keep going until you reach Barley, where you pass under the arch for the Fox& Hounds. Optionally, turn right here onto the B1368 and head to Flint Cross (take care here as there is typically a fatality each month between car drivers - nearly found out the hard way) where you take a right/left dogleg to Newton where the Queen's Head beckons. Otherwise, turn left onto the B1368 towards Hare Street where you turn right onto the B1038 to Buntingford. Then take the well known A507 to Baldock.
Codicote to: Hitchin
7 miles in Hertfordshire, although the mile or so from The Royal Oak to Hitchin is just straight. The road is national limit from the end of the 30 limit in Codicote. Some good fast-but-interesting bends, and a couple of tighter ones (40-50?), but in the main it's too quick and narrow to get your knee down in safety. The small straights have some up-and-downage to maintain your interest. The main fun of the road is not in one feature in particular but the feel of the road as a whole. A resident herd of deer can usually be seen at the western edge of Knebworth Park. The surface is generally good but there are some repaired strips which spoil your line in a couple of corners.
Hertford to: Hertford
Combines a couple of the great routes already on this site. Out of Hertford west on A414 // Right at Hertingfordbury up onto Thieves Lane // left onto B1000 towards Welwyn Garden City // Nice twisty road with a downhill corkscrew mid way // right hander after corkscrew is deceiving (oncoming cars tend to run wide and has claimed to two bike fatalities // past Tewin and Welwyn turnoffs // follow though Digswell (speed bumps and lane narrowing // Over roundabout onto A1000 DualCW // Go under A1 // Straight over roundabout still on A1000 // At Clock Hotel take Left to Welwyn village//Take B656 Codicote Road (Ed note: A reader advises me that this road has been attracting some accidents, so take care, particularly on the corner by Vanstones Garden Centre // Follow through to Hitchin
twisties and quick but watch for Garden Centre Volvos and scrap yard on RHS (lorries/parking/oil)// At Hitchin take A602 East towards Stevenage // Under A1 (Stevenage North Junction) and take B197 through Graveley // at T left towards Letchworth and loop back round and take the A6141 into Baldock // At Tesco go straight over roundabout// right at next roundabout onto A507 to Buntingford // top road but plenty of speed traps (never got this road right !) // At Buntingford roundabout go South onto A10 // Do a couple of laps of the Puckeridge Indy Circuit (dualcw between the N and S Puckeridge roundabouts // back South on A10 // At Thundridge Go right onto B158 by Anchor Beefeater (twisty) // Follow B158 to Bengeo and into Hertford // Check tires are now feathered to shit...// Early Sunday evening is good and you get to do the A507 with the sun on your back. // Police generally in Gravelly area and on A507
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