Friday, 1 April 2016
Good Friday, 25th March 2016
Luton - Dennington - 125 miles approx. 3 hours.
Heading to my friend Sam's for the day I faced the decision of how to get there - car, bus, train, aeroplane, hovercraft, jet pack or motorcycle. It was a lovely sunny day (unlike the rest of the week), albeit a little cold so of course motorcycle was chosen.
Next - which motorcycle. Well, Emma's SV650 is in the garage and my SV650 has been written off.... better take the 954 Fireblade then. So the day before I got myself sorted - cleaned the bike, checked the brakes, oil, lights, tyre pressures, chain oil and fuel. Tyres were a little low as well as the scottoiler so sorted that out and then all set.
Next - which route to take. I had already decided that the best option was to take the (relatively) fast route to Braintree in Essex and then make up a fun route from there. This also allowed for a quick toilet break at the rest stop near Great Dunmow on the A120 should I need it (I did....). From Braintree I took the knowing A131 to Sudbury and entered unfamiliar territory from there, taking the A1071 into Ipswich. Quite a nice bendy road, however a bit rubbish with 4-wheeled vehicles in front as they tend to go a little bit slow, so if you do go that way make sure it is nice and early. You could also take the route that goes via Finchingfield and the famous bike meets that happen there, but I've done that route a few times so decided to try something new.
I topped up my fuel levels at the Tesco services off the A12 near the A14. From there I took the quick way east on the A14, over the Orwell Bridge (such a good view of the east coast around there) to continue up the A12. Having gone round several roundabouts and filtering past many caravans (I guess they were headed to Great Yarmouth or wherever for their Easter break) I took the exit to the B116 to Framlingham and Dennington,
This was all OK, however next time I think a different route between Braintree and Dennington would be better to add more variety. If anyone has any suggestions please do say so in the comments below. Coming back I used the A1120 as suggested by Sam which takes me back to the A14 without going down to Ipswich and back up again. This was a good road, full of bends and small villages. However, it was pretty dark by then and so I couldn't really enjoy it as much as I perhaps could have in the day time. Would be good to try that route out again mixed in with some other smaller A and B roads.
It took me about 3 hours to get to Dennington from my home in Luton, including a rather slow petrol stop. Coming back mainly along the A14. A11 and A505 took just under 2 hours. There are plenty of decent roads around that way so make your own up and check out other suggestions on the bestbikingroads.com website. Below is an overview map of the route I took to Dennington.