Buntingford to: Newmarket
Turn off the A10 at Buntingford on to B1038 - Although this route is peppered with villages there are some opportunities to go really fast in between. Sometimes a bit mucky but a good mixture of lefts and rights, up and downhill corners and straights. At Newport turn left briefly onto B1383 and then turn right onto B1052 (Saffron Walden) and follow this road all the way to Linton. This section has some great moments with some knee down opportunities and one bit which has some smooth and fast snaking with open view of the road ahead (getting through Saffron Walden can be tricky - TAKE SIGNS TO TOWN CENTRE PAST TWO MINI ROUNDABOUTS. WHEN YOU GET TO TRAFFIC LIGHTS AT TOWN CENTRE, TURN RIGHT AND THEN FOLLOW ROAD STRAIGHT ON). At Linton follow signs for Balsham. Once through Linton its a short run to Balsham which is the living shit if you like it fast,bumpy and safely tankslappy. Follow B1052 through Balsham (slowly, I know people who live there) and stay on the same road all the way to Newmarket where, at some point, it will have miraculously cahnged into the B1061. This section has better Tarmac than the previous roads and some lovely corners but it also boasts the only speed cameras I am aware of on this route.
Fort William to: Ballachulish-Oban
OK, I do like the Cat and Fiddle, but lets get this straight, there is no road on earth, even Route 1 in the US, that comes close to the stretch from Ballachulish to Oban. Twisty? You get sweaty just bimbling along, there are virtually NO straights at all on this road, yet there is also next to no traffic most of the time. The section from Fort William is absolutely fabulous if you enjoy high speed cornering, er, very high speed, like close to the top end of a modern sportbike, so I am told, of course...
After Ballachulish, tighten up those sliders and drop your shoulders and bend your arms and get ready for a workout...some really grippy surfaces (tho some are really, really shite in the damp), interesting blind corners, great crests for wheelying - normally crossed up, making you feel a right hero, even though it just sort of happens anyway...
There is one section, and I can't remember exactly where, along the coast, where the road goes out into the sea almost, in little penisulas which are made up of 230 degrees corners (yes, they DO come back on themselves) of a constant radius, taken at a reasonable (above 60) pace. There are about 8 of these all in a row on FLAT grippy tarmac, try not to faint with pleasure...you need spare sliders for the return journey, or even half-way through...
Stockport to: Stpckport
This is a nice hour ride on a big sports bike (may take considerably longer on anything else) First jump on M60 clokwise from Stockport TC (By the Pyramid) Jump off at next exit A34 Follow this new dual carrage way (lots of nice flip flop roundabouts to get you in the mood) Till the last roundabout Head left for Congleton (Still A34) Follow this untill just before Congleton (Fast and twisty) Then follow Macclesfield signs A536 (not so great surface and one or 2 corners which may catch you out, You have been warned) As you enter Macclesfiled Exit on the Sylk road for Leek A523(ignore the Cat & Fiddle, Too much Police) This road is amazing and well worth a long journey (Just watch out for 2 Cameras in a small 30mph Village!) When you get to Leek, follow signs for Buxton A54 (Also an amazing roller coaster of a road, no cameras, No problems!) From Buxton take the old road A5004 Long Hill into whalley Bridge and follow the traffic clogged A6 back to Stockport. Job Done!!!
Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire to: Hitchen, Hertfordshire
Take the B655 out of Barton towards Hexton and Hitchen and as soon as you come out of the village it's into a slightly curved open blast of countryside. As you come up the slight rise a lovely right hand bend (be careful of the drop on the left!) takes you down into Hexton. It is here where it is worth slowing down to the 40mph speed limit for the 150 yards through the village as the bottom of the hill into Hexton levels off very quickly and sports bikes nearly ground themselves!
After going through the bottom of Hexton the road rises steeply and comes out of the 40mph limit, opening the throttle again sees a flurry of trees fly by before dropping round a fast left hander before rising again into a fast rising right before slowing to a 3rd/2nd gear sharp left hander. Opening the throttle again blasts you down the flat straight out of the trees and up the hill through a fast right hander and into another fast left (watch the rough tarmac!). A little wiggle left takes you onto the flat and round the fast slight left hander and onto another fast straight. Going back into the trees takes you into a quite fast right (be careful as it is on a deceptive slight rise making the bike very light!) and then into a good series of fast lefts and rights finsihing with a slightly sharper left. The trees then open as you blast along the last curvy straight. Caution must be taken towards the end of the straight due to a right hand bend with roads joining on either side, after which another quite sharp left takes you up the hill and into the 40mph which starts the slow down into Hitchen.
A cracking 4 mile ride which you can keep going over getting faster and faster with no reported police presence (after 4 years of riding the route) and not too much traffic. Bliss!
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