Looking back... Monkstown teen’s ambitious plan for 2,000 mile bike ride

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A Monkstown teenager was planning a cycling holiday with a difference in 1984.

Tom Morton, from Ards Drive, was planning to complete the 2,000 mile journey from Stranraer to Land’s End and back on two wheels.

The 19-year-old had purchased a 30-year-old bicycle to make the trip.

Tom said that the Raleigh bike, a “collector’s item”, weighed twice as much as a modern version but he said be believed that it would be able to “stand up to the rigours of the long trip”.

He indicated that although it had been gathering dust in a shed for about 15 years, it was still in good condition.

Tom added that he planned to make the first leg of the trip to John O’Groats before cycling onwards to Land’s End.

He explained: “It is something I have always wanted to do and will be staying in youth hostels along the way. The trip should take about six weeks to complete.

“I do not think the bike will have any trouble with performance. It is going to be a challenge but I will see the country at the same time.”

He said he believed that participation in the recent Belfast to Dublin “maracycle” had prepared him for the trip.