Warwickshire roads had therefore a good deal to do with the popularity of the pastime in early days.
The classic roads of England and Wales are the Great North Road, the Bath Road, the Holyhead Road, and the Brighton Road. Mr. C. G. Harper has given us interesting descriptions of these great highways in his books, named after the roads themselves, also narrative and data referring to each. I only propose to refer to them from the cycling view point, and would advise those who wish to acquaint themselves with their history in detail to read the Harper series.
Two other interesting roads of value to cyclists are Watling Street and the Fosse.
On the Great North Road are started the famous 12 hr. and 24 hr. road races of the North Road C.C., but as the club only utilize the classic highway as far north as Norman Cross, near Peterborough, the route for their race extends mostly eastward into the adjacent fen country. The London-Edinburgh record breakers ride on this road from the G.P.O., London, to a point near York, where the highway ceases to be known as the "Great North Road" but it is, of course, the route by which the old coaches travelled between Edinburgh and the metropolis.
The Bath Road C.C. claim the western highway as their special hunting ground, and there is a recognized Bath and Back Record, the time of which is occasionally reduced by some expert rider who tackles the journey under favourable conditions. There is no recognized road record for the Holyhead Road, but as it is the main artery from London and the Midlands into North Wales it becomes almost a necessity for cyclists to make its acquaintance when travelling to the watering places of the North and West. Leaving London it occupies the site of Watling Street (is Watling Street in fact)