Think I've discovered Motorcycling Heaven 2 (Road to Ronda)

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Think I've discovered Motorcycling Heaven 2 (Road to Ronda)

#1 Post by HowardQ » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:02 pm

I was back down in Andalucia for a couple of weeks straight after Christmas and again managed to check out a few more of the nice bike roads in the area, (even though sadly I was in a bloody 207 1.4 petrol hire car).
The one road I have always most wanted to try out in any vehicle is the famous road from Marbella to Ronda. A lot has been written in bike mags about this road, but for some reason I have never driven it, never mind ridden it, so I was intrigued to see what it would be like. The road you want from Marbella is the A397 to Ronda, (it shows as the A376 on my map!), and I managed to pick it up quite easily off the wonderful Autopista del Mediterraneo AP-7 or should be just as easy off the A7 Autovia del Mediterraneo .
As we started to climb up into the foothills on the 397, there seemed to be a lot of double white lines or simple continuous lines on my side and I was starting think it was going to be a bit of a waste of time, like going over the Woodhead Pass near me which seems to have double white lines for the entire length, so even on a bike, you have to just sit behind all the lorries or regularly risk crossing the lines if you want to have move quickly.
Then things looked a little brighter when I passed a couple of official (but comic) road signs giving warnings to car drivers, (and bikers), they show a dozy, slow moving car driver with two sports bikes suddenly arriving behind him and having to brake so hard they pull stoppies.
These seem more designed to war car drivers to be aware of fast approaching bikes and not drive to slowly, could you imagine signs like that in North Wales or North Yorkshire?
Then suddenly as you leave the last village, the double white lines stop to be replaced by a single broken run of bright yellow dashed lines.
Not something I’ve seen ever seen before, sort of saying you can pass here and we are not going to give you any clues where it is safe, but get on with it and be it on your own head, (particularly good news if you are on a bike).
Climbing from here through the mountains all the way up to Ronda on the plain, (think it is about 49Kms or so in total), it is all like this.
Very difficult for any normal cars to pass anything in front moving at a decent speed although some of the locals will try.
Had a newish 911 and an A4 quattro pass me in the Piggy 207 (1.4 petrol with VERY high gearing).
It was the first week in January and not too hot so only saw about 6 or 7 bikes on the way up, mainly Gixxers, GSs a ZZR and a few nakeds, (Hornets etc.).
Ronda itself is a great place to spend an hour or so before you ride back down,(we stayed about 3 hours).
As you may know the town itself is split in two, either side of an incredible gorge. Not sure how deep it is but it is very impressive and bloody deep looking down into it from the old bridge.
The smallest part to the south/ south east is the oldest with many old Moorish buildings. Over the bridge to the north there are also quite a few old buildings, then after this it seems to be a “New Town”.
The sun went down before we left and when we got back to the car it was only 3 or 4 degrees. Went down to 2 degrees as soon as we got into the coastal mountains again, ready for the fun trip back.
Good news is that even a 1.4 piggy 207 with decent wide boots on, can have a good play going down hill.
At this time of the year traffic is very light, (probably much worse in the summer), so had a real blast, passing quite a few slower cars, then caught a bike headlight in the mirror, slowed and moved towards the kerb to give him a clear run through to a hairpin left coming up just in front, it was a late Gixxer thou on a stubby under slung race can. Was pretty flat in 2nd when he came past me, then I watched him disappear round the tightening left hander, rounded the bend and watched him through some fairly open hairpins down below me. He was completely hung off on every bend, the Gixxer sounding absolutely marvellous on the stubby race can with the sound bouncing off the mountain sides.
Posing twat, I was jealous as hell, what I would have given to be right behind him on the Falco, wouldn’t have been brave enough to be in front as he obviously new the road well. (just imagine if you lived in Marbella and worked in Ronda, so had to commute around a hundred Kms up and down this road every day by bike.
Anyway I had fun all the way back down, the road is everything I had heard/hoped it would be, particularly out of the busy season. If you ever get the chance, you really must ride it, or if nothing else just drive it, you will still enjoy!
Further good news is that the road surface is nice new smooth tarmac for pretty much all the way.

As for a final comment, I still cannot get over the “special” yellow doted lines that seem to have been put in just to let bikers play, (or the stoppie warnings for that matter). Could you ever imagine anything like that in PC/Nanny/Greenie/ Brunstrom infested UK.
Absolutely magic.
Last edited by HowardQ on Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Syltiz » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:58 am

Yes, it is a fantastic road. I did it on a 1200GS which is not the right bike for it. I then went from Ronda towards El Puerto de Santa Maria (out the other side of Ronda) and I can honestly say I was punch-drunk by the corners. Relentless corner after corner that demand 100% attention, much tighter than the way up to Ronda - add to that Spanish drivers who have no problem with overtaking trucks around blind bends. Went in to a corner too hot on one accasion and managed to scrape the 1200GS's footpegs.

The trip from Granada up the Sierra Nevada is also amazing. More open sweeping bends which I find very relaxing.

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#3 Post by Gio » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:34 pm

How can you say a GS1200 isn't a bike for bendy roads, it'll eat any sports bike for breakfast on them.

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#4 Post by Falco9 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:20 pm

Gio wrote:How can you say a GS1200 isn't a bike for bendy roads, it'll eat any sports bike for breakfast on them.
Well as you know I have the T and had the Falco before it..........and although I'm not Rossi or even approaching his talent of course, I've done a fair amount of miles on my friends GS1150 & his GS1200 and I think I can say with some experience of riding all of them all that there is no way it's as good on the bends as either the T or the Falco was, and thats a fact.

It's a great bike alright and not too shabby through the bends at all; but no way will it live with a well ridden sports bike unless the bends in question are off road or on gravel.

F9 :smt006

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Re: Think I've discovered Motorcycling Heaven 2 (Road to Ronda)

#5 Post by madmardigan » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:42 pm

This thread hasn't been posted in in a while so hopefully you see this. Can you post some pictures from your trip and ride? We are thinking of heading here for our next one! Would love any other tips about this area too

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Re: Think I've discovered Motorcycling Heaven 2 (Road to Ronda)

#6 Post by mangocrazy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:50 pm

Howard is a very infrequent visitor these days, unfortunately.

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