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All-female cycling group recreate a 500-mile tour of the Highlands done by Scottish teens in 1936

The Adventure Syndicate are cycling in the footsteps of the Harvie sisters (Picture: Wattie Cheung) Forget a cushy week at Center Parcs – back in…

Monday, Mar 07

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The Adventure Syndicate are cycling in the footsteps of the Harvie sisters (Picture: Wattie Cheung) Forget a cushy week at Center Parcs – back in the 1930s teenagers had to create their own adventures.

Which is exactly what 17-year-old Lanarkshire lass Mary Harvie and her two sisters did in 1936 when they embarked on a 500-mile cycling tour of the Scottish Highlands.

‘Complete with haversack and camera, we start the climb of Ben More – 3,842ft. We added another stone to the cairn… and had a lovely view all around Loch Lomond, Ireland and the Trossachs,’ reads an extract from Mary’s diary, which was recently donated to Hostelling Scotland by her son, Harvie Paterson.

To celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, Hostelling Scotland (which turns 90 this year) called upon the Adventure Syndicate – a collective of women endurance riders who promote mental and physical wellbeing through their cycling challenges – to retrace the Harvie sisters’ original trip.

Alice Lemkes, Lee Craigie and Philippa Battye formed the three-strong team who, like Mary, started in Glasgow and rode up through the Trossachs, Crianlarich (‘Gateway to the Highlands’), Glencoe, Portree on the Isle of Skye, Torridon and Gairloch, before finishing amid the snowy peaks of Aviemore in the Cairngorms. Alice, Lee and Philippa make up the Adventure Syndicate – an all-female group of endurance cyclists (Picture: Maciek Tomiczek / tommycheck.com) Sisters Ella, Mary, Jean Harvie (L-R) set off on a 500-mile cycling tour of the Scottish Highlands in 1936 Their tour took them from Loch […]

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