Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/92

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until at Weedon it branches to the left and passing through Coventry, Birmingham, and Shrewsbury, enters Wales near Chirk. It then traverses some of the most famous beauty spots of North Wales, crosses the Menai Straits on Telford's suspension bridge, near Bangor, and terminates with a twenty-two mile nearly level stretch across the island of Anglesey.

As regards the Brighton Road there are many ways to Brighton, the classical record route being by Purley, Horley, Crawley, and Handcross. The Brighton Road was associated with the earliest bicycle performances, when plucky pioneers trundled bone-shakers there in the day. Relay rides were also a feature of the days when cyclists showed they could beat the time of the Brighton four-horse coach. Innumerable cycling records have been made on the Brighton Road, but the extension of London southwards and Brighton northwards entails so much traffic riding that very few attempt the performance now.

Watling Street is probably the most ancient road in the Kingdom. It is supposed to have existed prior to the first Roman invasion, but it was the Roman conquest that caused it to be improved and extended. Originally, it stretched from near Dover to Wroxeter and probably north to Chester or Carlisle. Cyclists riding from Dover to London follow the line of the old highway by what is known to-day as the Dover Road; the Street went right through the heart of London, issuing at Edgware. Near St. Albans, the Holyhead or Birmingham road makes one division from the old Roman track, but returns to it and makes use of Watling Street all the way to Weedon. Here it turns to the right, away from the modern road, and, with two breaks (where the Street crosses fields), continues in an uninterrupted line through Atherstone to a point near