Monday, July 12, 2010
Zig and Zag
To give myself a fleeting chance of avoiding the weekend exodus I set off at around 7am. There are already a reasonable number of people on the M25, but I appear to be the only one driving a stripped out ex-racer with no roof, an unpadded plastic seat and a competition gearbox of deafeningly low ratios. Funny that. In order to make things a little more bearable I’ve packed an MP3 player and a pair of powerful in-ear headphones that just about manage to make themselves heard over the engine. Although the Caterham emits a very pleasant racy bark under acceleration, the constant mechanical blare of a 5,000rpm cruise (in 6th!) rapidly becomes wearing. Unservoed brakes and a competition clutch make traffic somewhat fatiguing, while slightly dubious ergonomics make it very difficult to rest your legs in a comfortable position when cruising. Not surprisingly, the motorway isn’t proving to be the Seven’s forte.
As the A31 emerges from the New Forest I turn off to investigate a tip off I’d been given about a good driving road en-route. The B3347 from Ringwood to Christchurch is said to be something of a biker’s favourite, which is usually a good sign, but to be honest I don’t find much to recommend it for those on four wheels. There’s one nice set of S-bends, but they fall inside a 40mph limit and you have to contend with traffic for much of the rest of the route, even at 9am on a Saturday. And, while half of Dorset seem to be bumbling along the B3347, those I'm due to meet have yet to surface, so it seems like the perfect opportunity to satisfy a long held curiosity