Perfect Days Out for Motorcyclists

One of the joys of owning a motorcycle is the freedom it gives you to explore the country. There are lots of great places for bikers to see and events for them to attend, so there is no excuse for leaving your machine in the garage at the weekend.

There are many practical reasons to buy a motorbike, not least that it is a low-cost form of transport that is simple to navigate through traffic jams, but many riders were inspired to purchase one by something very different. Motorcycle racing is one of the most exciting sports in the world and many bikers dream of emulating the feats of Carl Fogarty and Valentino Rossi.

Obviously, the public roads are not the right place to try that, so the best alternative is a trackday. Most of the country’s major circuits hold them throughout the year and few things in life could be more thrilling than testing your mettle around Donington Park or Brands Hatch.

If you would prefer to watch the professionals in action, join the throngs of fans in motorbike clothing as they gather to view race meetings. There are a number of national championships that stage races at venues like Oulton Park, Thruxton, Snetterton and Cadwell Park throughout the year.

The highlights of the 2012 season in the UK will be the MotoGP British Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 15th-17th, together with the FIM Superbike World Championship races at Donington Park on May 11th-13th and at the Northamptonshire track on August 3rd-5th.

Another excellent way for bikers to spend the day is at one of the many motorcycle shows that are held across the country each year. They offer the chance to meet stars from the racing world, to admire some classic bikes and learn more about the next generation of machines.

Pull on your Dainese leather jacket and head to EventCity on March 17th and 18th to attend the Manchester Bike Show. You will be treated to stunt demonstrations, displays of the latest Ducati, BMW and Honda bikes and a personal appearance by Isle of Man TT legend Charlie Williams.

Alternatively, ride to Lanark Agricultural Centre on December 1st and 2nd for the all-action Scottish Dirt Bike Show. It has the kind of exhibits you would expect to find at this type of event, along with vintage motocross racing and trials demonstrations.

Of course, you may just want to spend your free time actually riding your motorcycle. The weekend blast on rural roads is a great tradition for British bikers and you will find lots of places suitable for it.

South-west England is famed for the kind of quiet country roads that riders love, although you will need excellent bike handling skills to cope with the twists and turns. The A39 between Bridgwater and St Columb Major is a real favourite with bikers, as it runs through some beautiful countryside and has a perfect combination of straights and sharp bends, including the famous hairpins on Porlock Hill.

Derbyshire is another location popular with bikers, thanks to its beautiful Pennine scenery and testing hillside roads. You will find riders gathering in places like Matlock Bath most weekends before setting off on tours of the local countryside. Experienced motorcyclists enjoy the A537 between Buxton and Macclesfield, which is known as the Cat and Fiddle and is also regarded as one of the most challenging roads in the country.