Cromford to Newhaven, the Via Gellia has a host of different challenges. Road surface can be really rather slippery for the first few miles due to the overhanging trees and constant quarry lorries, which will often come around the corners well over the white line, at speed. Crappy road surface in places (again those lorries) doesnt help. Has a couple of dodgy joining-junctions and tightening bends early on too. It does open up though, after the quarries, into a lovely fast, bendy, undulating run through Pikehall and on to Newhaven, where it links up with the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton. Never seen a copper on the Via Gellia. Id say to go steady until your clear of the overhanging trees, and then it does get quite fun.
I ride this road a lot.
Lot's of great corners at the start and technically really challenging. It straightens out about half way up with just a couple of mild corners.
Scenery is great. At the start you are tucked in under overhanging trees. Looks amazing on a sunny day. Lot's of long range countryside views at the end.
Unfortunately I have come across more accidents than I can remember. Because of this the Police presence is high and often has speed camera checks.
Lastly be careful at the start of drain covers... I think I counted an incredible 29 within the first mile of the road as well as countless tiny ones. Once past those the roads are not too bad although the harsh winter has taken it's toll on the more open parts of the road further up. Be careful on the corners.
Lovely stretch of very twisty road at the Cromford end with good flowing bends and pleasant surroundings in the trees - one of the better roads around and miles better than the A6 for getting to Matlock from Buxton. Towards the Friden (Buxton and Ashbourne) end it gets boringly straight and you need to watch out for the Scamera van on one of the straights. Check slowitdown.co.uk before riding to check for Police presence before using.