Here, we look at some safety tips for riders this summer to enjoy some of the best roads and routes during the dry, sunny days ahead.
Firstly, some of the most popular routes for motorcycling include the Cat and Fiddle run, bordering Cheshire, Lancashire and South Yorkshire. This name refers to a pub conveniently located just off one of the roads over the mountainous Peak District. Although some organisations have labelled the eleven-kilometre stretch of open road from Macclesfield into the mountains as dangerous, it remains popular with bikers. Explored at a modest pace without unnecessary speed, it offers breath-taking scenery and a sense of freedom, with progressive bends set against the backdrop of rugged landscapes. Open moorland and traditional stone walls add to the effect.
Across the Irish Sea, the Antrim coast road is around 60 kilometres in length; the stretch from Larne heading northwards on the A2 is considered by many devotees to be one of the best in the UK. The ride passes picture postcard style fishing villages, with views in the distance towards the Mull of Kintyre in neighbouring Scotland. Eventually, this route leads to the spectacular Giant’s Causeway and a whiskey distillery.
The valleys and moors of North Yorkshire boast open skies, clean air and heather-clad hillsides. Combining solitude with beauty, some villages and small towns such as Helmsley, Masham and Hawes are known for the warm hospitality usually extended towards the motorcycling fraternity. Route options from here include the Pennines and Cumbria – or why not carefully explore some of the single-track roads right into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales? Here, the scenery is reminiscent of Emmerdale Farm and an opportunity to disconnect and enjoy the natural environment before returning to base, or booking an overnight stopover at a local inn.
In East Anglia, a number of routes include the market town of Fakenham in Norfolk and the ride to Mildenhall in Suffolk. Alternatively, East coast bikers favour Chelmsford and the Essex coast or Cambridge and the Fens towards Ipswich.
Other popular tour routes include:
- The Salisbury Plain area.
- Exmoor, and the Dartmoor National Park around Okehampton in Devon
- Heading west from the Roman city of Chester, the North Wales coastal route including Conway, Caernarfon and even the Lleyn Peninsula, or the route via the oldMenai Straits bridge over to the Isle of Anglesey.
- South to mid-Wales – including the A44 out of Aberystwyth.
- Monmouth, the Forest of Dean and other scenic Welsh border villages and small towns. The views between beautiful Builth Wells and Newtown (around 49 kilometres away) are very scenic, as are south Shropshire and Ludlow.
- The southern uplands and Galloway Forest.
- For committed riders with time to explore them, the Highlands of northern Scotland.
Safety is key – many expert riders and instructors would not hesitate to remind newer riders (and even experienced ones) that protective clothing is still important in summer. Not only does this provide adequate protection against impacts, possible fractures and bruising, but also it prevents skin abrasion on tarmac, stones, hedges or walls. Riders who have seen photographs of skin abrasions (and – in particular – medical photographs of the unprotected hands of motorcycle accident casualties) will probably have winced or felt queasy inside.
Instead of not wearing gloves, which is never a good idea, a good pair of summer rider’s gloves is highly recommended to replace those winter thermal gauntlets and keep the hands protected.
Experienced riders know that t-shirts, shorts and sandals or, worse, flip-flops are not suitable for motorcycles and scooters. Why not buy or renew your kit with some quality short gloves and a light riding jacket that has built-in elbow and shoulder protectors, along with a pair of motorcycling trousers or special light yet tough jeans with kneepads? They can even be included on a birthday list – especially if one’s nearest and dearest are feeling generous.
Importantly, riders who have not ridden for some time and are returning to the road for the summer season may wish to consider a refresher or advanced course. This really is in riders’ best interests; it represents an ideal opportunity to hone riding skills and review the latest techniques with helpful feedback, under the watchful eye of an expert motorcycling instructor.
Finally, for safety and convenience when out on the open road, it is best to have adequate motorcycle breakdown cover from the specialists. This will give you peace of mind, roadside assistance and recovery if necessary and in the event of the unexpected. To find out more about an award winning policy, simply click here.
Safe riding – and enjoy the summer months!