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"Fast Bikes", April 1, 2013

Travel & Tracks

A fiver for the first person to send us a picture riding their own bike on these roads!

POSTCARD FROM: LA GOMERA

I like the ‘roads’ piece in FB this month and remembered this place.

I was on holiday last year in a place I had never previously heard of – La Gomera, in the Canary Islands. Half the EU road-building budget must have been spent there! The surface was amazing, there’s no traffic and the scenery is stunning.

DD, email

Roads like that need exploring, but we’ve had a look into this – and it’s tough to get to. If you want to ride your own bike on the island, then you’ll need to get a ferry from Huelva in Southern Spain to Tenerife, and then get another ferry from Tenerife to La Gomera. You’re looking at the best part of four days just to get there! Alternatively, if you’re ever on holiday in Tenerife, there are a few places where you can hire half decent bikes. Get yourself one of these for a few days and then jump on the hour long ferry to La Gomera to enjoy every last centimetre of these roads.

GETTING IT RIGHT: RICHES, SNETTERTON

A-Force Says: Snetterton has undergone huge surgery over recent years, but one corner that’s remained relatively unchanged is Riches – the super-fast first turn at Norfolk’s finest circuit.

The entry is a fairly simple task: get as far over to the left of the circuit as possible and, dependant on what bike you’re on, choose a braking marker from the yardage signing on the grass. If it’s a litre bike, start at the 200 board and gradually work your way forward – the cornfield isn’t a good place to crash, just ask Simon Andrews.

The line was previously dictated by the Tarmac’s overbanding, but since the resurface, your line should be far more natural. The quickest way through Riches is to turn-in relatively early and hit the first apex, drift out to the centre of the track (don’t be afraid of running it wide), and hit the second apex.

The exit of Riches is a tricky one, in that you can’t see the kerbing until very late. Build your speed up and rolling out to the exit will come instinctively.

GREAT LAUNCH ROADS – ALICANTE

If you think of Alicante, you probably think of sun, sand and septuagenarians. But behind the beach lies some fantastic hills, and when you get hills you get great roads. Add to that the typical Spanish weather, that can see 70-degree days in December, and you’ve got a near perfect location for riding – and riding hard – just like we did on the Kawasaki Z750R launch a few years ago. After an all day gutbuster from the beach, if you head north west from Alicante itself turn off as soon as you see signs for the CV775. You’ll soon pick up the CV-782, then the N-340, before looping the loop with the CV-785 and CV-770. Blimey, that’s more CV’s that Alan Sugar has to deal with. The roads are fantastic, not too busy, well out of the way of most prying eyes, and in general the Tarmac is decent quality. It’s about 1,100 miles from Calais, so it’s a good two days down there – or a very hard one – but at least you’ve got a huge choice of hotels and hostelries once you get there.

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