Scar­bor­ough blast

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

Ride fa­mous roads cir­cuit then head for the Moors

Scar­bor­ough makes a great base for tour­ing the North of Eng­land; not only are some of the UK’S finest roads on its doorstep, it also has a lion’s share of biker friendly ac­com­mo­da­tion. The lat­ter might have some­thing to do with the close prox­im­ity of Oliver’s Mount, Eng­land’s only nat­u­ral ‘road’ race track and the start­ing point for this spe­cial ride.

There aren’t many cir­cuits in the world that you can just rock up to for a lap, but as Oliver’s is all pub­lic roads you can do just that – pro­vid­ing it’s within the 30 limit. As you bim­ble around it’s im­pos­si­ble not to be hum­bled by the sheer balls of any­one brave enough to tackle this tight, twisty cir­cuit at speed, let alone race around it. Grab break­fast or a brew at the café, then sad­dle up and head for the moors.

Take the A64 south, top up as re­quired then turn right to­wards Ir­ton and on­wards to Ay­ton. Join the A170 here to en­joy a stream of steady straights that grow ever more twisted as the rate of un­du­la­tions in­creases – pos­i­tive counter steer­ing will en­hance these grace­ful curves no end. Turn right at the round­about in the cen­tre of Pick­er­ing and fol­low the A169 out of town. This sin­u­ous strip of tar­mac ploughs north through the gorse, its black topped back in stark con­trast to the colour burst of coun­try­side through which it flows.

Be­yond Lock­ton the road dips as if to gain mo­men­tum then breaks free of the sur­round­ing moor­land to give a spec­tac­u­lar view across end­less swathes of pur­ple heather. On­wards and up­wards it climbs, skirt­ing the rim of a vast hol­low known as the Hole of Hor­cum – watch for the road mark­ings to be­come an un­bro­ken di­vider then pre­pare to tip into a sweep­ing left han­der that apexes across the brow be­fore div­ing to­wards the in­fa­mous Devil’s El­bow. At 12% it’s a steep de­scent through a tight right hair­pin, so ne­go­ti­ate with cau­tion.

Fo­cus on the road ahead is en­hanced by the wilder­ness of the moor, an un­tamed ex­panse that re­cedes to farm­land only as the A169 nears its end. Turn right for the A171 and Whitby; there’s fuel on the way into town, but if you’re look­ing for food ride down to the Quay­side for a por­tion of Whitby’s world fa­mous fish and chips. Cross the River Esk via Bridge Street to head back south on the A171 and it won’t be long be­fore the stone walls and sweep­ing hedgerows once more give way to open land.

At Bur­niston bear left on the A165 for the run back to base; both roads lead to Scar­bor­ough but the coastal road is more in­ter­est­ing.

‘There aren’t many cir­cuits in the world that you can just rock up to for a lap’

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