Last weekend I made another motorcycle trip up from London to Welshpool, North Wales to visit family and friends; which of course took a long, convoluted and twisty route there and back. Come on?! With beautiful weather and a couple of days to kill on the bike, you think I’m just gonna sit on the motorway for 4 hours? Stuff that…
The only thing worse than being stuck at work, is being stuck at work when there is perfect biking weather outside. So, the other day my wife and I booked the day off, dropped kids off at school and then just hit the road. Life’s too short.
We took a gentle bimble out into Essex with Mersea Island as our destination for lunch. Fairly familiar motorcycle roads Essex offers, but a good opportunity for Mary to continue building back her confidence and also test out her new Garmin Satnav. Here’s the route (though we plotted this in Garmin’s Base Camp app and then downloaded it to the satnav, which all worked perfectly).
For this half term holiday I had the chance to undertake one last ride for the year, out to North Wales to catch up with family whilst having a blast on the bike. I took Friday off work to ride up, but didn’t set off until nearly lunch as I waited for the rain to abate. The roads remained wet for most of the afternoon and the weather was grey. I took things steady, even though there were many fun and technical bends to negotiate. The route was very similar to the one I undertook last time: London, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Brackley, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Droitwich, Kidderminister, Bridgenorth, Shrewsbury and finishing in Welshpool. Night fall hit I passed Bridgenorth, where upon I was glad I had the Fazer with decent headlight, and enjoyed the London’s novelty that is main beam.
Not a lot beats a hot August for getting out on the bike and enjoying oneself. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing this last couple of weekends, lots of exploration on many an Essex ride out, which invariable entails a stop in Finchingfield. This picturesque village is quite the Mecca for bikers at weekends. With so many great country roads leading to and from it (see routes below), it’s no surprise.
Bosworth’s Tearooms Cafe still rustles up fine food, although did change ownership earlier this year which has led to some menu changes and price increases. Their ice cream kiosk is still very much welcomed on hot days when sweating like a pig in full leathers.
Just home from another long jaunt across the middle of England, from London to Shrewsbury, and back. Catching up with family for the weekend up in Shrewsbury, Welshpool and surrounding areas. I took a slightly different route from last time, running a little further North.
Over the weekend I rode up to Shrewsbury on the bike to see family. Heading North I took boring motorways, but on my return South I took a far more enjoyable and scenic route:
As the days grow longer and my IAM course progresses, I have been looking for decent routes to hit after work on my commute home to squeeze in some extra practice and take advantage of the lovely weather. I ride home Eastbound on the A13, so have been hunting down quiet, yet interesting roads in close proximity to the areas of Upminster, Bulphan, Tilbury, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Brentwood. This is my route:
By gum, a mid week ride out, what’s that all about? With kids at school, the weather forecast predicting summer arriving and the two of us in dire need of a break, we booked a day off and hit the road for an Essex ride out. The plan was to hit the infamous Burnham Bends (around Burnham-on-Crouch), then double back, through Chelmsford and out to Bishops Stortford following the A1060. But wait, Mary was having a wardrobe malfunction: her old leather trousers were hideously baggy after recent dieting, but the interim pair bought cheap off eBay seemed to fit, but had no give in them and prevented her getting her leg over the bike. Not good. A quick pit stop at J&S Gants Hill sorted us out with a pair Frank Thomas trousers that fit and didn’t break the bank. Sorted. Now back on the road.
A day of annual leave booked, kids with childminder, mid week, quiet roads, lovely sunny weather – ah! the perfect ride out and chance to take in the best motorcycle roads Essex has to offer. The intention for the day was to go for a reasonably long run on the bikes, get Mary more accustomed to her new ZZR400, build up her confidence after returning to biking from several years off bikes. The day should have been a chilled Essex out ride, culminating in a picnic in Finchingfield.
The route was fairly straight forward. From Dagenham: Hainhault → Stapleford Abbots → Chipping Ongar → Leaden Roding → Great Dunmow → Finchingfield. The route is very scenic, especially the stretch North of Great Dunmow. Undulating fields, twisty bends and corn in the fields being harvested. Total length is just shy of 40 miles and easily doable in under 1.5 hours. If you fancy a longer ride, you could continue North through Haverhill and onto Bury St Edmunds, which is another 28 miles.
Took a day off work today to sort out some loose ends, however this afternoon made for an impromptu Essex ride out. Weather was perfect, bit overcast, but warm and calm. With my wife, Mary pillion we sent off from Dagenham, with a plan to get a late lunch at Pizza Express in Braintree. Our route consisted of:
- A112 to Hainault
- A113 to Stapleford Abbotts (possibly cutting through Lamboune End)
- A113 to Chipping Ongar
- B184 to Dunmow
- B1256 to Braintree