milnrow to: milnrow
Mills and Moorland (and a Castle) This is a route I have constructed from several of the short runs I regularly use to blow away the cobwebs following a sh*tty day at work. I have never yet travelled it in its entirety.
Start at J21 on the M62. Aim for Rochdale centre, but at the first set of traffic lights bear right onto the road for Littleborough (via Hollingworth Lake). At Littleborough take the A58 over Soyland Moor. As you drop down the other side you will pass reservoirs on your right. Follow the road down to Ripponden. As you enter the village centre, turn right at the traffic light onto the A672 . This road climbs back up over the moors, under the M62, eventually dropping down into Denshaw. At Denshaw there is a 5 road junction, take the first left (A640-Huddersfield). Back up over the moors again. After about 6 miles you will pass over the M62 (again!), about 1 mile after that look out for a road on your right (Round Ings), which is opposite a pub called the Highlander (there can be only one!!!) Round Ings takes you over the M62. Follow this road up over the hill, keeping right at the top. Then merge right into the road coming out of the village, and follow this road all the way downhill into a village called Slaithwaite. This is a nice spot for a ciggie break. If anyone can eat a full portion of fish and chips from the chippie, then you are a better man than me!
Follow the road out of the village, over the canal and river, turning right at the village exit onto the A62. Follow this road through Marsden and back up over the Pennines. When dropping down the other side look out for a road forking off left to Uppermill. Go through Uppermill. On the exit of the village look out for the A635 Greenfield to Holmfirth road (this road is currently -may 2003- undergoing roadworks). Enjoy the road all the way to Holmfirth. When entering Holmfirth, turn immediately right onto the A6024, the road to Holme. This road climbs quickly to the TV transmitter mast. There is a car park to rest up and enjoy the view (and usually an ice cream van). After resting drop down the other side and at your first junction turn left onto the A628. Take care at this junction as you are turning back on yourself, and it is a blind juction for approaching traffic.
After about 6 miles, at the Langsett roundabout, turn left onto the A616 - Huddersfield. Travel down through New Mill, Brockholes (beware-speed tax cameras). Just before Honley, look out for a sign for the Railway Station to your right. Turn right up this road. At the T junction at the top of the road, turn left and follow the road round the hillside. After about 1 mile turn right in front of Castle Hill. Just around the corner you can access the road to climb up to the car park at the top of the hill. After having your ciggie, beer, coke (delete as appropriate) the only final complication is to find your way back into Huddersfield and the way home. Retrace your tracks back down the hill to the junction where you turned right (ie turn right to continue the road that you originally approached Castle Hill on) Stay on this road, through Almondbury, all the way until you eventually merge into the A629, heading into Huddersfield. You can take the ring road either way around the town centre. Turn off on the A640 -Rochdale- take this road out of the town centre and you will soon find yourself on familiar territory.
Points to consider on moorland crossings : I would not advise this route during windy weather, as it severely spoils the enjoyment of the roads. Beware of the many sheep, they are not the brightest of animals. You may find gravel and chippings on the racing line, that have been washed off the road sides during heavy rain. According to my map and a piece of cotton the mileage comes out at about 80 miles !!
Bonar Bridge to: Lochinver
The A837 is an A road which is single track with passing places - it could only be Scotland! Narrow, excellent twisties and a superb view of Suilven for miles and miles. Stop at Lochinver, chips or afternoon tea for the more civilised and prepare yourself for the next bit - the road to Ullapool via Stac Pollaidh. Just unbelievable. At times you can get up to a terrifying 50 mph - briefly. The twistiest road in the world. The scenery is awsome - lunar landscapes and primroses which you can admire closely when you run out of road. And then the mountains. Stop and climb Stac Pollaidh - it's worth it. Ride this road or die unfulfilled.
Banbury to Southam to: Southam to Rugby
Lengths of this road have just been resurfaced with some of the best tarmac I have ever had the pleasure to ride upon. Great corners experimenting with grip on the race trackish surfacing.
THAME to: A41 (BICESTER ROAD)
Absolutely blinding route, though a litte short at around 7-8 miles, but can be done extremely quickly. There are 3-4 tight s-bends and loads of top sweeping left and right bends and undulations. The quality of the road surface is good and consistent apart from entering and leaving the 2 small villages on the way. This route is best ridden from A41 Bicester road site to Long Crendon and Thame, especially when youve just watched a super-bikes race. PLOD: Not a sniff S-CAMS: Not a sniff DANGERS: Railway track crossing after a high speed bend (about 2/3 left hander) coming from A41 side, but no need to slow down for the actual crossing it's self (smooth baby). BIKE USE: Loads on a good day (lot's of fun)
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