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Grandmother Cycles 1,000 Miles For This Sad Reason

By Orgesta Tolaj


23 October 2023

1,000-mile cycling around Scotland

©️ maviscycle / Instagram

You know the good old saying: “I don’t have wrinkles, I have wisdom highlights.” Well, this situation is the perfect explanation for the quote. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to undergo 1,000-mile cycling around Scotland, here is your answer. In a remarkable display of determination and resilience, 85-year-old grandmother Mavis Paterson, hailing from Galloway, has set herself a physically demanding challenge to grapple with the weight of unbearable grief. However, this decision did not come to her on a whim. Stricken by loss, she has chosen a unique path to cope with her pain by embarking on a journey that defies age and expectations.

What Is the Plan?

For her 85th birthday, Mavis Paterson is planning to cycle more than 1,000 miles (equivalent to 1,609 kilometers) around the breathtaking landscapes of Scotland. This remarkable endeavor not only serves as a personal test of endurance but also as a tribute to her unwavering spirit and as a means to channel her grief. This test of 1,000-mile cycling around Scotland is a poignant reminder that even in the face of life’s most profound challenges, the human spirit can persevere and find solace through extraordinary feats.

Grandmother cycling 1.000 miles as she undergoes 1.000-mile cycling around Scotland
© Paul Hackett

Why Is This Grandmother Cycling 1,000 Miles?

Mavis Paterson successfully raised nearly £60,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support by completing a 1,000-mile bike ride. She embarked on this journey following the heartbreaking loss of her three adult children, Sandy in 2012, Katie in 2013, and Bob in 2016. The grandmother who is affectionately known as Granny Mave, embarked on a challenging endurance journey in May. She cycled around Scotland, starting from the Mull of Galloway and tracing the country’s outline back to the Mull of Galloway.

What Happened to Her Children?

Mavis Paterson tragically lost her son Sandy in 2012 due to a heart attack, her daughter Katie to viral pneumonia in 2013, and her son Bob in an accident in 2016. To find solace and cope with this unimaginable loss, she turned to 1,000-mile cycling around Scotland. Through her remarkable endurance challenges, she raised funds for Macmillan Cancer Care, all while grappling with her grief. Mavis attributes her strength to the healing power of cycling and the support of her wonderful friends who have stood by her during these challenging times.

She had previously said: “It’s been hard for me, but I’ve managed and people say, ‘Oh, you’re strong,’ and I don’t know where the strength comes from. They ask me. I don’t know. I cope, my bike helps and I’ve got wonderful friends.”

How Is This Possible at Her age?

Each day, she would rise early, covering distances of up to 50 miles (80 km), all the while raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2019, she achieved a remarkable record as the oldest woman to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Her impressive cycling endeavors also included a 24-hour ride and a journey across Canada.

Despite her age, Paterson continues to plan more adventures, with a new expedition to the Hebrides on the horizon, accompanied by her friend Jackie. Her unyielding spirit and dedication to both charity and personal challenges are truly inspiring.

What about you: Would you be able to be the next grandfather or grandmother cycling 1.000 miles? Let us know in the comments below!

You might also want to read: Start With 4,000 Steps! The Health Benefits of Walking

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!