IF YOU'VE never taken your bike to Europe, you’re missing out. OK, the UK has some decent roads but how many times have you gone for a ride and ended up getting stuck behind half the Caravan Club, dangerous OAPs and dozey Sunday drivers? And if you do get a clear run at your favourite road there’s always the threat of police, speed cameras, and the frequently poor quality surface of our nation’s highways.
But the solution to these problems is simple – Europe. Some of the tarmac available on the continent is the stuff of dreams so whether your version of riding nirvana is a road that’ll cater to you and your sportsbike-riding mates, or for a two-up trip with the Mrs, there are roads in Spain, France, Italy and Germany that’ll make you wonder why you haven’t already sold up and moved.
This is by no means a definitive list, rather just a few of our favourite roads, with something for everyone. If you’ve got your own suggestions, let us know in the comments.
1. The GI-682 between Lloret de mar and Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain
Running along the coast out of Lloret de Mar, the GI-682 is an incredible, sinuous ribbon of tarmac with countless bends. It combines a mix of flowing corners and turns, plus tighter, more technical bends and hairpins. The section to Tossa de Mar is more open and flowing, while further north, it gets a little tighter. It’s demanding of your concentration, and the large sections where there’s just a piece of Armco barrier separating you from the sea down below is a healthy reminder than you need to show this road some respect.
You’ll easily do this one morning or afternoon, meaning once you reach one end , it’s time to stop for something to eat or drink, before turning round and doing it again
All of it. The flowing section between Tossa de Mar and Lloret de Mar is packed with plenty of sweeping bends, while there are a few more tighter, slower corners north of Lloret de Mar around La Pola I Giverola, Salionc and Canyet de Mar.
Watch out for
Generally, the road surface is good, but keep an eye out for patched up sections which aren’t as smooth and grippy as the rest of the tarmac. For much of its length, the GI-682 sits next to rock faces and it’s not uncommon to find patches of dust and debris in your path. Being a coast road, there are plenty of lookout points along the way, which means opportunities for car drivers to pull out on you or suddenly slow down before pulling in to admire the view.