It was a long haul with 3rd rate equipment!
I have owned a bicycle since I was three years old and always loved whatever I had no matter how ramshackle. When I first went to the tax office a member of staff (“Hendy”) ] organised all day cycle rides for the younger members which I enjoyed very much although my bike had no gears and wasn’t very well maintained.
Then I became hooked on youth hostelling hiking all over Northumberland with other members of various tax offices in the region. For a change a few of us decided to try cycling on long weekends. The first venue was about 1950, Fernihurst Castle YH near Jedburgh. Of course we worked Saturday mornings so we all met at Ponteland then made our way to Wallington Hall, recently opened as a YHA. The next day we pushed on to the border. Unfortunately my brakes failed over Carter Bar and I wore out the sole of my sandal putting my foot down trying to stop myself hurtling to oblivion. I can’t remember much about the ride back from the Borders on the Monday as I finished up with sun stroke. I can only think there was a following wind to help me home semiconscious. It was a long haul with 3rd rate equipment!
Nothing daunted our next move was Coldingham Bay YH, near to St. Abbs Head. I met Margaret Bell from Blyth on the way up to Morpeth then we met up with two friends at Rock YHA (near Warkworth) for Saturday night. Next day we made good progress over the border to Coldingham Bay. On the Monday I was itching to get away as we had a long trek back and I guessed it would be tough. Margaret and I left the other two who were taking their time getting ready, and then didn’t they pass us just short of Berwick riding on the back of a lorry the rotters!! Well it must have been a headwind because by the time we reached Morpeth we were exhausted, falling off the bikes every few yards. In the end I had to leave Margaret as I had further to go. I walked the last few miles as my bottom could not bear the contact with the saddle. We never did repeat these adventures though my husband and I cycled miles in Scotland on our honeymoon – though never to exhaustion.