Sidney's First Tour

In 1945, while I was in my second year at Hackney Technical Institute learning about electricity, I got the idea of riding all round the south coast in four weeks during the summer holiday. I put a notice up to see if anyone else was interested and three others said they would like to come with me. So I booked youth hostels about 35 miles apart for the whole trip and off we went. The route was west from Hackney, through London and on towards Bath. Then left to Barnstaple and along the north Somerset coast, making sure we rode up Porlock Hill. Then all the way along the north coast of the Devon/Cornwall peninsula to Lands End, where we turned left and started on the south coast. All we had to do then was ride from Lands End to Margate, not forgetting to cross over to the Isle of Wight at Lymington and then back to Portsmouth. From Margate it was a two-day ride back to south London and over the river to Hackney. During the four weeks we rode about 1000 miles and used Bartholomew half-inch maps to keep the arguments going. This was the start of my cycling career, which ended 70 years later with a world record.