Kendal to: Carlisle
My favourite road in the whole country - I go to Scotland a lot from Burnley in Lancashire, but it never really feels like I'm on my way until I start climbing the A6 out of Kendal towards Shap summit. The rest of the run from Shap to Penrtih and then to Carlisle is mainly flat, but the road is in good repair with lots of sweeping bends to get your knee down on. No police presence (never seen any, yet) but a few villages along the way. It's pretty easy to average about 90mph from Kendal to Carlisle though!
Cromford to: A515
This road is both fantastically twisty and exceptionally beautiful. Pocket Rocket territory, then right on A515 to Matlock. This road swoops and soars over the low Peaks, not much in the way of bends but great speed (up to 70mph at least!).
Known locally as Via Gellia. You should point out that the A515 is heavily patrolled by the boys in blue, unmarked cars......be circumspect especially just right towards Buxton long inviting straights. Once into Buxton, head past the Hospital and up towards Whalley Bridge past the Goyt Valley.If you think the A5012 is good this is even better and better still coming back (mainly uphill) but be advised it takes no prisoners.
I'd add my weight to the A5012 being a GREAT route. However it may be worth adding that if you then continue up the A515 to Buxton that you should keep an eye open for the boys in blue. This is a favourite section for them to pull bikes and cars. It's so straight that people race along it, but there are some tricky blind summits and there have been a lot of accidents (mainly cages). The police tend to sit on the top of a long incline so they can time people between the white timing marks on the road as they approach. They also used to operate a variety of unmarked police cars (even a VW Golf once). Fortunately I've never been stopped, but a warning on the page wouldn't go amiss (here it is ed.). I've never seen anyone being stopped on the A5012 except for the 30mph approach to Cromford where I've seen a handheld radar gun in use, so go easy here also. A few more warnings about the A5012 are that at this time of year it's pretty slippery as it tends to collect and retain a lot of the fallen leaves. Also there are a number of quarries on this old Roman route (the Via Gellia) which a) are slow if loaded and b) cause a lot of nice slippy limestone to be spread around the entrances. There is one short section between a sharp right and sharp left (going towards Buxton) where a big pool collects after heavy rain. There is usually a temporary flood sign but don't go racing on dark nights during a storm! If you keep to the crown of the road you should avoid most of the puddle.
Callan to: Carrick on Suir
The northern 8 miles or so from Callan to Tullaghought is a mix of some bends and reasonably long straights with a nice sprinkling of fast sweepers.
From Tullaghought to Carrick, the road follows the river valley for a few miles and is a challenging succession of bends with a nice blast open mile a couple of miles from the end before you hit the final series of bends into Carrick.
Surface variable, mostly ok, but you take your chances, especially along the river valley. Probably not the supersports rider's favourite type of tarmac, but for something with half-decent suspension and ok tyres, it's a nice run.
Crianlarich to: Glencoe
This is one of many absolutely brilliant runs for those of us lucky enough to live about the middle of Scotland. It's a favourite circular run for locals, but can be done one way if you're touring or visiting. Best to avoid the main summer months, since it can get a bit busy with cars & coaches, and watch for Mr Plod (unmarked cars & bikes). Total distance as described below is about 120 miles I think. The route's all single carriageway A-roads, mainly good surfaces, with decent grip - not too many muckspreaders around, but watch for loose gravel at farm exits.
Starting at Crianlarich, the A85 to Tyndrum is a fairly quick, wide, road with some good open bends. Tyndrum has a couple of decent eateries, plus what's reputed to be the most expensive petrol in the universe. Take the A82 to go over Rannoch Moor and on through Glen Coe itself - if you don't have to stop and look at these hills, you're not human! Do watch out for hillwalkers wandering about on the road, though. Once through Glen Coe, there's food and fuel at Ballachulish. Take the A828, which is an interesting twisty road along the side of Loch Linnhe. Last time through (November 98), the surface was starting to break up in parts, so a bit of care was needed with cornering lines. At Connel, take the A85 along the side of Loch Etive and Loch Awe to return to Tyndrum & Crianlarich - again, a decent bit of road with a mix of tight corners in the first half or so, followed by more open straights and bends later.
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