North West - A57
Road: A57 - Where: High Peak (Snake Pass)
After being off the road for over ten years, I recently bought a bike, and am now firmly back in the saddle. One of the first rides after I picked up my bike was across the Snake Pass (High Peak A57), to meet up with other biking friends, and venture out across the rolling hills of the peak district.
Although I was keen to put on my gear and get back into the biking community, I knew there were something I had to do first, to ensure I was confident on the road. It’s always a challenge riding a route such as this, which is notorious for accidents.
Here are the steps I took before firing up the engine, and heading across the Snake Pass:
1. Check the road conditions prior to your journey
To ensure you don’t run into any accidents, poor road visibility, or lane closures; causing unusual road conditions, ensure that you’re up to date by tuning into local traffic alerts, local news or google maps.
2. Keep focused
The High Peak A57 is well-known for its scenery and stunning views, but don’t let the backdrop distract you. Keep focused on your speed, other vehicles on the road, and your surroundings.
3. Take regular breaks
It's crucial to take time off your bike whilst travelling across the High Peak. There are many famous biker pubs, so schedule in a break and catch-up with the biking community. The number of roadside Inns serve great coffee, which may help to keep you alert and focused after a long ride.
4. Keep your distance
Maintain plenty of distance from the vehicle in front, mindful that with less police traffic presence there are those who will drive irresponsibly. Also be wary of the increasing number of elderly drivers out there, who may not have the visibility and reactions they once had. Finally, look out for foreign lorry drivers who may not see you from their left hand driving position.
Jonny has been biking for more than 40 years, buying his first BSA Bantam aged 15 in 1976. Now, after 10 years without a bike, he recently decided to get back in the saddle and has ambitions to bike across the UK and Europe. Jonny is currently undertaking an advanced motorcycle safety course, provided by the IAM RoadSmart. If successful, this offers the future possibility of him becoming an IAM instructor/ observer in the future, to give something back to motorcycling. Twitter: @520JON
The Swinton View on Riding the A57 at High Peak
Although motorcyclists make up just one percent of road traffic, they account for nearly one in every five road-user deaths. Because you’re more vulnerable on the road riding a motorbike, it’s hugely important you take every precaution to stay safe.
Wear the right safety gear, know your route, plan for the weather, and give yourself plenty of time to finish your ride without rushing. It’s also vital that you’re fully insured and that your motorbike insurance policy covers everything you need it to. Enjoy the ride!