Hello and welcome to Alex's Blog. I don't know how its come around so fast but its September again (mid-September nearly) and whilst here at J&S HQ up in Cheshire its currently teeming with rain, the weather in the UK is supposed to be good for the rest of this week (famous last words) after today.
With this in mind it got me thinking about where you all like to go and also where, near our stores, are good roads to go on a ride while you still can before the weather turns. You may as well try to take advantage of it now while you still can! So here are some recommendations from our all of our 27 stores nationwide:
"Aberdeen has a gateway to excellent roads. From the J&S Shop, ride 15 minutes in any direction and you will find countryside roads abundant with thrilling twists, exhilarating bends and beautiful scenery.
Customers can ride from Aberdeen to Braemar via the A93, passing Aboyne, Dinnet & Ballater, stopping at The Hungry Highlander for a spot of lunch or a friendly chat and coffee with fellow bikers.
Or if you fancy a quick jaunt, how about heading out the B9077 and head off to the B979 Slug road from Crathes to the picturesque seaside town of Stonehaven where there are ice cream and fish and chip outlets aplenty.
For those of you more adventurous bikers why not venture out on the Cairn O' Mount. A very popular mountain pass road with large inclines and fantastic highland scenery. Simply head out the A93 to Banchory, taking the Dee street turn off towards Strachan and the B974. At Strachan, follow signs for Fettercairn and you'll soon find yourself on this exciting and mountainous road suitable for big bikes only due to steep inclines.
For a longer ride, you could take on the Dufftown/Donside loop! 110 miles of fantastic countryside scenery, plenty twists and bends and of course plenty of local cafes to stop and refuel for the next leg. Head out to Oldmeldrum from the J&S shop via the A96, turning onto the B9170 at Inverurie. The loop will take you all the way around to the large town of Huntly, round to Dufftown, Tomintoul, Cock Bridge then back through Kildrummy and Alford before returning to Oldmeldrum."
"On Tuesday nights there is probably the biggest local bike meet in the Midlands at Bassetts Pole Mcdonalds on the A38 at Bassetts Pole."
"We are very fortunate to be centrally located with some amazing roads for ride-outs. Popular routes for ourselves and our regulars are heading out towards Finchingfield, and if you have enough stamina you can stay on beautiful country roads all the way to Cambridge if you wish! There are also some very biker-friendly cafes on those routes, and in the summer the beautiful Finchingfield village is a very busy and bustling biker haunt with 100s of bikers sitting on the grass by the pond enjoying ice creams and cold drinks, having a well-deserved pit stop!"
"Not too far from us, just out the back end of Bristol is the world famous village of Cheddar, home to England's very first cheddar cheese, with lots of heritage and in a picturesque setting, you will find lots of twists and turns and lovely country roads. You can take a nice ride up through the gorge and back and stop off for an afternoon tea in one of the many eateries making this an ideal afternoon ride-out destination."
“Doncaster to Helmsley Loop starting and ending in Doncaster is a great ride out with stops if need be. Also the A57 from Glossop to Sheffield.”
"A20 – direct to Brands Hatch circuit – which is roughly about a 20 minute ride.
S Circular road – to London Greenwich borough for Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich market, the Cutty Sark and more... – 13 minutes ride
A2 – towards the Blackwell Tunnel, which leads to various attractions throughout the city
A102 – Again a direct ride to the centre of London, such as Soho and Buckingham Palace and all other exquisite sites across London – journey roughly around 40 minutes."
"The A339 from Basingstoke to Alton is a great road for a ride-out! Also the Meon valley road to Loomies cafe is also very good route and don't forget newlands corner which has good ride-out routes in the surrounding area."
"We are based on a nice country road, but also locally there are: Wellingborough Embankment, Irchester Country Park, Northampton Billing Aquadrome, Kettering Wickstead Park and Stanwick Lakes."
"Inverarnan on Loch Lomond. Follow Great Western Road on to the A82 to Balloch, around 35 minutes, and follow the Western Shore of Loch Lomond. The Drovers Inn (One of the Oldest Pubs in Scotland, famous for housing Rob Roy) is a great place to stop off for food at the end.
Old Military Road. Again follow Great Western Road on to the A82, this time go through Balloch on to the A811 which leads to Stirling Road/Old Military Road. Going through Gartocharn will take you to Duncryne Hill (Locally known as the Dumpling.) A short walk up will offer fantastic views of Loch Lomond, parking is available. Following this road, turn right on to A809 to find Wayfarers, an other spot to get a bite to eat, popular with Bikers in the good weather. Following this road will bring you through Carbeth, Bearsden, on to Anniesland and back to Great Western Road 15 minutes from the Shop Door."
"A71 Larkhall to Irvine -Nice easy road with plenty of sweeping bends.
A71 - B743 Strathaven To Muirkirk - Quite a technical road with tight corners and off camber roads.
A721 - A72 Carluke To Peebles - Mix of sweeping bends and tight corners, lovely scenery."
"Wow, where to start. There are so many places the location of our store can take you to, or nearby. Most customers who visit us here tend to have either come or are going to the Ace cafe London. If you travel from the store towards Hayes, carry on going straight which will lead you to a petrol garage before you start a ride out but then to some twisty back roads in the countryside. Think High Wycome, Oxford, Cookham, Nuffield. Conversely, you can travel back into London for some sightseeing, although traffic does tend to be an issue at certain times of the day."
"The Essex country lanes are not far from the store and offer awesome twisty roads to explore."
"Within a half hours ride you can be in the Yorkshire Dales then onto Lake District. The East coast, which includes Scarborough and Whitby, are about 2 hours away."
"B6047 between Market Harborough & Melton Mowbray is Leicester's most famous biking road! Twists, turns and dips galore!"
"Follow the A26 out to Tonbridge and continue onto Sussex/follow the A249 out on Detling Hill and stop for chips at the coast or head to Rye on the A299 where Hastings/Rye is a little over 30 miles away."
"There are several routes through Rivington Barn for a good ride-out plus Ladybower Reservoir being a destination on the other side of Manchester that also has a great cafe which also links in to some of the better riding roads in the North West."
"Kielder forest is just a short run away as is the Scottish borders. Many riders like a run out to Hartside Cafe which situated near Alston postcode, CA9 3BW. There are some brilliant roads in this area."
"Most famously, there is the Box Hill ride-out which is on most Sunday Mornings. Also, there are ride-outs most Friday evenings to Ace Cafe on the North Circular."
"Nottingham to Melton Mowbray via Langer Bends: A52 to Bingham, Turning onto Tithby Lane for Langer, Langer to Waltham on the Wolds, A601 to Melton Mowbray return via A606 to Nottingham.
Nottingham to Foxton Locks via Melton Mowbray: A52 To Bingham, turning on to Tithby Lane for Langer, Langer to Waltham on the Wolds, A601 to Melton Mowbray, from there follow B6047 towards Market Harborough, right on to A6 then left on to Langton Road.
Nottingham to Newark via Southwell: Head for Gunthorpe and join the A6097 to Oxton, turn on to the B6386 to Southwell, Follow A612 to Averham, turn on to A617 to Newark on Trent (the Barge Pub)
Nottingham to Matlock Baths: From Nottingham follow the A610 to Ambergate, turn right on to the A6 and follow to Matlock Baths.
Nottingham to Macclesfield: From Nottingham follow the A610 to Ambergate, turn right on to the A6 and follow to Cromford Cross Roads. Turn left on to B5036 then turn right on to A5012 via Gellia Road to New Haven. Turn right on to A515 towards Buxton. From Buxton turn on to the A537 (Cat and Fiddle Pub) to Macclesfield.
Also near to us are the following race circuits: Donington Park 13.2 Miles, Mallory Park 29.4 Miles and Cadwell park 65.1 Miles."
"A49 to Shrewsbury passing the Raven Cafe (popular bikers destination especially on a Thursday night)"
"Burford to Evesham and Burford to Lechlade."
"From store to Slapton sands is a lovely ride on twisty roads, and great scenery of the southern coastline. Trip to Looe from the store is a lovely ride via the "Torpoint twisties" to a destination with great fish and chips and walk around the fishing village is a must. Ideal stop between rides."
"There are many country roads located a very short distance from the shop if you ride out towards Denmead or Petersfield from the shop. All the roads around these places are brilliant biking roads from big sweeping roads to smaller more technical lanes. The A272 and A32 are not far from the shop the local meeting places such as Loomies, Portsdown Hill and Butser Hill are also not far."
"We are right on the start of the A59 which leads to many popular ride-out routes such as Devil's Bridge, Rivvi Barn, Blackpool / Southport / St Annes / West Coast."
"Ashridge Estate between Hemel Hempstead and Tring offers very good riding on twisty (and quiet) country roads as does the roads around the Dunstable Downs and Woburn areas."
"To start rides around Stockwell and you can't go wrong on these roads: A217, A3, A31 , A32 , A272, A24. They take you to cafes and the south coast."
"The A272 is a fantastic stretch of tarmac that goes from the A22 to the A3, its length is around 53.3 miles. You also have the whole of the Ashdown Forest to ride through and there plenty of pubs to refuel and re-hydrate like The Coach and Horses RH17 7JF, The Hatch Inn TN7 4EJ and The Green Man RH17 7AS to name but a few. There are plenty of bikers that migrate south to the coast on a sunny Sunday, to Eastbourne, Brighton and Hastings, our store is a brilliant start point and we are located right next door to a petrol station."
If that's not enough to tempt you to go out on your bike then I don't know what is!
If you have any suggestions of ride out roads that you like near you, or just any of your favourite roads (it can be anywhere in the world!) let us know! I will put them on the blog and then other bikers can try them out.
Also at J&S HQ we have a top secret project on the go..... I can't say any more than this at the moment but keep your eyes peeled in the weeks ahead for some exciting J&S news.
Until next time, stay safe!