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.
Billingshurst to: Petersfield
Huge variety - lots of sweeps, mixed surfaces. Watch out for plods in the villages. Watch out for 30mph camera on way into Billingshurst if coming from North. Road sweeps east from B,hurst through a small village. Crap until then. Once out of village, follow twisties through the forest on a great surface. Twisties for around 7 miles including a real bastard right hander. Last mile and a half before Petworth is totally straight. Time to see if the bike will do 60mph (honest officer). Go through Petworth slowly (there's no way you can do it quickly!!) Once out on the 252 again there's a long sweeping wide road where you can really pan it. Watch out for nasty twists in Cowdray Park.....it looks flat but the contours can throw you wide. More of the same until Petersfield. Usual Surrey rules apply.....30 thru the towns (or get 'plodded') and watch out for crap on the roads. Get to Petersfield. Get a drink. Grin a lot.
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.
Alton, Hampshire to: Fareham, Hampshire
If you're lucky with the traffic then this is a real challenge. There are a couple of strictly 30MPH bits thrown in along the way (including a shaming device that lights up and tells you that you're going too quick)but otherwise sweeping bends and long straights.
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