Distance: 82.3 miles approx.
ETA: 2 and a half hours approx.
Tomorrow a small bunch of us from the St. Albans Sportsbike Rider Club are riding from the Chequers pub in Redbourn over to Uppingham - on the condition that it does not rain (forecast doesn't look great - but that won't stop me going!).
The highlight of this route is the B664 between Market Harborough to Uppingham. Just off the A427 north-east of Market Harborough, this road runs through lots of small villages, with tight bends in between - often with very little vision around them. This is a challenging route and so recommended for those who have got a few miles under their belt.
We will be departing the pub at 08:00 on the Sunday morning in order to miss as much weekend traffic as possible. Our route takes us from the pub, northbound on the A5183, which becomes the A5 as you go under the M1 motorway. From here, there is a right hand turn at the traffic lights around Markyate - heading through the country roads of Caddington and Chaul End to the A505 in Dunstable, over the roundabout - heading through Houghton Regis.
Once out of here, there are back roads heading round to the B530 - which goes over the M1 to the A5120. This road is a mix of medium and large bends and open straights, heading through some small towns - be sure to keep an eye out for the speed cameras. At Flitwick, be sure not to miss the A5120 as it continues over the railway bridge towards Ampthill. The B530 continues north of Ampthill towards Bedford, a single carriage national speed limit road, mainly straight with a few easy bends.
The B530 ends at the A6, where a right turn at the traffic lights finds the A421/A428 bypass to Northampton. This is a nice open road with a few quaint villages (speed cameras in Turvey and Yardley Hastings). Crossing the A509 roundabout - continuing onto the A428 until Northampton there are a few over hanging speed cameras. Heading under the A45 and continuing onto the A428 there is a set of traffic lights and the Northampton General Hospital on the right hand side. A little bit of in-town riding now, taking a right turn at these lights towards the crossroad of the A508. Another right turn here onto the A508 northbound towards Market Harborough - which goes up to Kingsthorpe and out of Northampton.
The A508 is a lovely open national speed limit road with some sweeping bends and the odd roundabout, countryside views and old Northamptonshire buildings. The road continues north, over the A14 and eventually ending up at Market Harborough. There is a right turn ahead at some traffic lights, before the town centre which leads round onto the A4304 and then the A427. If you have some time, head straight into the town instead and stop for a tea or coffee.
At the roundabout take the exit onto the A427. Almost immediately after is the left hand turn for the B664 to Uppingham. The road is pretty open at first, which can be a little misleading so keep your concentration. In the villages there are quite a few occasions where the bends are quite tight, but at low speeds these shouldn't be an issue. Also, keep a look out for direction signs, as due to the nature of the road it can be quite confusing keeping to the B664. In Uppingham there are traffic lights at a crossroad (the A6003). Taking a left here reveals the Harley Davidson dealership on the right hand side - the end of the route. Take a break, look at some bikes, get a drink at the cafe - you would have earned it!
If anyone would like a copy of the Garmin route let me know in the comments. Hopefully I will add some pictures after tomorrow! Safe riding!