FAST BLAST

Louth loop of­fers a lot p50

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Al­though the scenery may not be all that dra­matic, the East of Eng­land can pro­vide more than a sur­prise or two when it comes to a great ride out. The rel­a­tively flat ter­rain, so favoured by RAF Bomber Com­mand for air­bases in the 1940s, lends it­self to the open road and this route takes in a hand­ful of those his­toric lo­ca­tions to cre­ate a cir­cuit of the Lin­colnshire Wolds that’s both en­ter­tain­ing and thought pro­vok­ing.

Start off from the fill­ing sta­tion on the A153 to the east of RAF Con­ingsby, the only op­er­a­tional air­base en route. Take the A155 from the round­about and en­joy a me­an­der across open farm­land to East Kirkby, where you’ll find the re­stored air­craft and build­ings of the Lin­colnshire Avi­a­tion Her­itage Cen­tre – well worth a visit if you’ve got the time.

At West Keal turn left to fol­low the A16 all the way to the Ul­ceby Cross round­about, then take the sec­ond exit for Louth and the A1104. The twisties will un­fold be­yond Al­ford where the road wrig­gles around what was once RAF Strubby; be sure to turn left at Maltby Le Marsh for the A157 where the bends flow thick and fast.

You’ll re­join the A16 just af­ter Ken­wick – head to­wards Bos­ton, take the first exit at the Elk­ing­ton round­about and bear right for the A361. Keep a look out for the lit­tle black and white rural sign­post for the road to Bin­brook – turn right here and look for a sim­i­lar sign for the next left turn; these un­named roads are quite nar­row and largely un­marked so be aware of on­com­ing ve­hi­cles. You’ll cross what’s left of the con­crete run­ways of RAF Kel­stern be­fore a blast across the fields to­wards Bin­brook, which was in use un­til the late 1980s.

The B1203 from Bin­brook to Mar­ket Rasen fea­tures some of the few un­du­la­tions you’ll en­counter and they con­spire with one or two tight turns for a sur­pris­ingly tech­ni­cal sec­tion – great fun, but take care. There’s fuel if re­quired in Mar­ket Rasen, but for rider re­fresh­ments push on to the Willing­ham Woods kiosk on the A361 for a bacon roll and a brew.

At North Willing­ham turn left on Six­hills Road to Hain­ton, and then take the A157 to Wragby where you’ll need to pick up the B1202 Bard­ney Road. There are some great twisties along this sec­tion (RAF Bard­ney to your left), but the best are saved for last and the B1190 from Bard­ney to Buck­nall fea­tures a unique se­ries of bends that you’ll cer­tainly want to ride again. The Dam­busters me­mo­rial at Wood­hall Spa makes for a poignant last stop be­fore com­plet­ing the loop back to Con­ingsby.

For­ma­tion rid­ing… in tribute to the area’s Royal Air Force her­itage

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