Must ride roads: Ripon to Hawes
As far as UK roads go, this route is up there with the best of them. It kicks off from the picturesque town of Ripon and leads you immediately into the winding wilderness of the Yorkshire Dales.
Trundling along the A6108, you quickly leave signs of civilisation behind, as the road begins to rise and drop like a rollercoaster on steroids. A few miles in, the aggression of the undulations tail off in favour of an eclectic mix of flowing, blind corners. No two are the same, keeping you at fever pitch as you carve your way through the twisties, curious to know what’s coming next. The answer, of course, is more of the same. And it doesn’t stop until you get into the quaint village of Masham, where a moment’s respite can be indulged before the route picks up its heels again and takes you and your bike with it.
From here on in, the scenery steps up another notch in the wow-factor and it becomes ridiculously easy to find yourself completely overwhelmed. Thankfully, this road’s just as much fun to ride pootling as it is at warp speed, so you can take the time to look around and still enjoy the road you’re chasing.
A few more villages later, the route takes a left turn just after Middleham alongside the banks of a winding river. It’s short in duration, but the bumpy, nadgery lane bypasses the town of Leyburn, allowing you even more unadulterated minutes of motorcycling, hassle-free marvelling.
Next up’s the stretch to Hawes along the A684. The route’s stone wall lined from the offset and the landscape’s green throughout. The twists are so constant that hitting speeds of up to 60mph are hugely infrequent, so much so that your brain becomes flustered as it works at its potential, guiding your way through the folly of 90 degree direction changes that hit you incessantly. But that’s what makes this road the attraction that it is, assuming of course you’re a motorcyclist who enjoys his corners.
After Bainbridge, the road becomes that bit straighter and the lead into Hawes gives you time enough to take in the route you’ve just ridden. All that’s left now is to pull up in the town centre and kick back over a cup of coffee in any one of the multiple, quirky coffee shops that litter the main street.
LOCATION: Yorkshire Dales
ROUTE: A6108, A684
DURATION: 36.1 miles – one hour
FUEL STOPS: Ripon, Hawes