‘ The Cor­nish coastal road carves a ser­pen­tine path’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Riding - By Justin Hayzelden

Start­ing in Newquay, keep the sea to your left and head north, via Porth Beach, on the B3276. For its first part this route fol­lows the coast, ris­ing with the cliffs to jink across their ex­posed plateaus, only break­ing its flow to con­nect the bays and beaches em­bed­ded along the shore­line. Water­gate Bay is first up and there’s a steep left-handed down­hill hair­pin on the ap­proach – the na­ture of this ter­rain is such that sim­i­lar turns lie ahead, so be sure to ride with ap­pro­pri­ate cau­tion.

Af­ter dip­ping through Maw­gan Porth the B3276 carves a ser­pen­tine path atop the prehistoric Be­druthan Steps, its low ly­ing hedgerows ris­ing and fall­ing with the rolling un­du­la­tions. There are sev­eral tight sec­tions around Porth­cothan Bay, most no­tably the bridge at the far end of the beach. Take your time and be pre­pared to let on­com­ing ve­hi­cles through – if noth­ing else it’ll give you a chance to soak up the fab­u­lous views. Fuel is avail­able in St Mer­ryn should you need it, af­ter which the road con­tin­ues to rise, crest and swoop on­ward to­wards Pad­stow.

Pad­stow is a great place to stop if you’re feel­ing peck­ish as this tra­di­tional port is bristling with culi­nary es­tab­lish­ments – head for the South Quay. Park­ing is pay and dis­play if you use a des­ig­nated space and the rules state you can park sev­eral bikes in one – in­ter­pret that as you so wish.

Leave town on the A389 to­wards Wade­bridge. The road be­comes wider from here, less nadgery than some of the coastal route, and rapidly de­scends to swoop across the River Camel. At some point the A389 be­comes the A39, but stay alert for the signs to A389/bod­min.

Fol­low the A389 through Bod­min (where fuel is read­ily avail­able) then join the A30 in the di­rec­tion of Re­druth. This rib­bon of twin lane dual car­riage­way streaks into the dis­tance and paves the way for some se­ri­ous cruis­ing. Its bends are such that you barely need to back off; just hold the throt­tle on that sym­phonic sweet spot where the pipe finds its tune – the blue note – and go. It’s a stretch where some will find true clar­ity of thought, but don’t get too lost in the mo­ment; af­ter 11 miles you’ll want to peel off for the A392 to Newquay.

Nav­i­gate by the signs for Fis­tral Beach, but don’t park down by the beach it­self. As you turn onto Head­land Road (with the sea ahead and golf course on your left) take the right for Towan Head­land. Ride out past the Head­land Ho­tel to find the best views – if you’ve timed your run to co­in­cide with a sun­set you will not be dis­ap­pointed.

‘Hold the throt­tle on that sweet spot where the pipe finds its tune’

Peel off and ex­plore some wild back roads

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