Excellent route, beats the A66 anytime. Some great corners and good stretches of straight road, watch out though, can be quite bumpy in places. Been over a couple of times and never seen the police. Couple of cattle grids but not seen any animals on the road. Can be a little exposed on windy days, but that just adds to the fun.
On leaving the pretty and bike friendly market town of Thirsk,real life home of James Herriot,the rider has at his grasp good roads at all points of the compass.Select the A170 towards Scarborough,and find yourself in Helmsley in a very short time.This is a good high speed road with smooth sweeping corners,a couple of flat out straights,and a couple of technical sections that require a bit of care.This route has three seperate sections,the first being an uphill part taking us up Sutton bank.Traffic tends to bunch up here as there is a sharp left hand hairpin,and Hgvs tend to bog things down.Up the bank,and watch out for a sharp right hander,with an entrance to a picnic area on the left.Once past this the road opens up into the gloriously fast middle section,corners that you can see through,and generally very well surfaced.A couple of junctions are well signposted but is a good idea to roll off the gas.This brings us to the insane 3.5 km downhill straight,which is as fast as you dare. A farmhouse halfway sometimes acts as a hiding place for the Gendarmes,but are pretty easy to spot.If you are of a mind to potter down this section,the views across North Yorkshire are fantastic,on a clear day visibility is forever.At the end of this section is Duncombe park,a stately home whose entrance sits on a tight left hand bend that also has a junction opposite,with the usual partially sited car drivers towing caravans pulling out of it,so caution is advised.Roll down the last bit into Helmsley for the usual bragging and Bulls**t session.As with most routes these days,a better time can be had if tackled midweek,as the usual weekend warriors bring out a higher police presence.This route at only 26km approx,is a good tyre warming session for the more demanding and well documented B1257 TT route.