Marlow to Bicester, Bucks
"It's 32 miles travelling from the bottom to near the top of Buckinghamshire and into Oxfordshire, traversing the Chilterns en route."
Convertible optional, fun guaranteed
"It's enormously varied, taking in some tight and twisty B-roads, with fast A-roads and large changes in elevation, surface and surroundings - through some of the most fantastic English countryside. Best done in a convertible, on a summer morning, obviously with the roof down!
"Google Maps says it'll take you 59 minutes, although 'a friend' has done it in quite a bit less than that without any traffic as much of it is well-sighted. The challenge being to carry speed smoothly through the corners and remember to slow down for the few speed restricted areas. I've lived in the area for years and it's a challenging route for both car and driver so no matter whether you have a Clio 172 or a 911 GT3, you can enjoy the run."
Highlights and lowlights:
"There's a fantastic right-hand curve over a bridge before a tightening, twisting left just before you get into Stokenchurch. Even better is the right-left-right-left undulating and complex section just after leaving Long Crendon when the countryside really opens out with great sightlines. It's properly fun with no traffic, even better with a few other petrolheads that wish to indulge in a little 'safety fast'.
"Until you get past Long Crendon, it can be a busy road, so timing is critical - early mornings are best but late evenings, just before the sun sets, can be equally special. It's rural, so you do have the countryside hazards of tractors, horses and bumbling locals to contend with. Plenty of bikers know this route and can add to the challenge as they'll normally be much more cautious under braking or round corners, but faster on the straights (unless you have something fast yourself)."
It's not always like this, so plan ahead
Sights, stop-offs and diversions:
"Marlow is on the River Thames and so provides fabulous places to eat and drink or watch the world go by! Stokenchurch is adjacent to 'Christmas Common' - very popular with walkers and cyclists (one of the largest managed forests in the south of England). Thame is an old-fashioned market town (try the Swan Hotel for food and drink, but there are numerous options) and Bicester is a 'newly expanded' town with a huge retail complex, but Carluccios in Bicester Village does a great breakfast (Coliazione Magnifica) with coffee and juice or alternatively you can just take the other half shopping ..."
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