Helmsley to: Scarborough
Helmsley is a market town lying on the A170 from Thirsk to Scarborough. The road is mostly 60 limit, quiet and predominantly plod free, road surface is smooth and sticky. Plenty glorious fast sweepers and good straights. Great scenery (if you get time to look). Not too many villages along the way so fairly hazard free. Helmsley market place is a locally renowned gathering point for all walks of biker on summer weekends (mainly sunday afternoons) and theres always loads of bikes on the Scarborough sea front at the other end of the journey. Plenty alternative routes if you fancy a change on the way back. That corner of North Yorkshire is packed with good biking roads other than this, explore!
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.
The bottom of Shetland to: The top of the island
Nice. No trees, and almost zero traffic. After a recent grant by the RAF, ALL the main roads have been resurfaced to billiard table standard. 2 police cars on all three islands. No cameras. No trees, so massive road visibility. Insanely fast and smooth ! Watch out for the wooly bollards who like to sit on or beside the road. Also, if you crash, don't expect recovery for hours. Some bends are on top of hills and can be off camber. Lots of stones on recent resurfaced roads. If you can afford the ferry, one of the UK's best kept secrets. It's just a pity the roads aren't longer (60 miles over three islands)...
Spalding to: Melton Mowbray
Almost worth moving to East Anglia so you can blast to Donington. From the A16/A1073 crossroads turn towards Spalding, then left over a bridge and right at the petrol station (easy to miss this turn). 30 limit for a mile or so, then left at the t-junction. This soon becomes a 50 limit, then you're out over the fens. Watch out for the sharp r/h bend at Pode Hole, then fast and staight to Pinchbeck, over the humpback bridge and sharp left. Some beautiful twisties and straight-line stuff, another 90 right at Twenty then flat, fast and bumpy all the way into Bourne. Watch out for some VERY deep dykes both sides of the road. Straight across the lights at Bourne and watch out for speed traps on the slight rise out of the village. Out of the limit and sharp right and up hill through some woods then a long downhill striaght, followed by some lovely twists before the 90 right into Edenham. The speed limit here has been altered so watch it, another popular spot for 'hairdryers'. A short blast of twists with a slight rise and fall then the two rights and 90 left into Grimthorpe, 40 limit. The 90 right as you leave the village is VERY steep uphill, and you can power on early as the speed limit ends there. A set of glorious twists and striaghts past Grimthorpe Castle, then a 90 right and GO FOR IT all the way to Corby Glen. Fast, wide sweeps and few juctions to worry about. Corby Glen is now 30 limit so beware. Up the hill out of Corby Glen, out of the limit past the Grantham turn (another great road), then right, downhill and left under the railway bridge. Then it's fast and twisty all the way to Colsterworth and the A1, just a couple of rights to watch out for. Cross the A1, 30 through Colsterworth then flat to Stainby (30). Long straight out of Stainby with a tricky right kink then striaght to Buckminster. 30 through here then it's pure Joey Dunlop all the way to Melton, with just three very short 30 limits through villages, all with very sharp entries and exits. For a change, coming back from Melton use the A606 to Oakham, past Rutland Water and on to Stamford. Much wider and smoother, therefor faster, but not so much fun in my opinion. And if you're not knackered after that, you weren't trying hard enough! Cheers and be safe.
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