Two grandmothers to cycle 6000 miles for cancer charity

  • 20 March 2008

Two Scottish grandmothers are preparing to cycle 6000 miles across Canada to raise cash for a cancer charity.

Penny Weir, who turned 70 in February, and 69-year-old Mavis Paterson are going on the trip of a lifetime to celebrate Paterson's 70th birthday, and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The super-fit duo will cycle through snow, wind and rain during the four-month coast-to-coast cycle, sleeping in tents they'll carry on their bikes.

Ayrshire-born Paterson said: 'A lot of people tell us that we're crazy and maybe we are - but I think everyone needs a goal and this is ours. I'll still be doing trips like this in 20 -years if I have my health. I don't really think we're doing anything special. Anyone could do it – it's just down to sheer willpower, stubbornness and discipline – and a desire to raise money for a great cause.'

Weir, from Aviemore, added: 'I've been telling everyone I know that I'm off to have a gap year! I know most people have them at 17 and not 70, but I think we'll have a great time. It's a very long way to go, and we'll be facing wind, snow and rain, but it will be worth it.'

The women met 16-years ago after Weir heard Paterson on the radio talking about a 8000 mile cycle she had completed across America, Australia, Hawaii and Fuji.

Weir, who runs a pottery in Rothiemurchus, had been thinking about going on a similar trip and she asked the radio station to pass on her details to Paterson. The women have since completed countless rides together. But none have been as daunting as their cycle across Canada.

The grandmothers will set off from Vancouver, in the east of Canada, on 18 May and hope to finish in New Foundland in the west of Canada, in September.

All of the money Penny and Mavis raise from their trip will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, which provides emotional, financial and practical support to people affected by cancer.

Director of Macmillan Cancer Support, Elspeth Atkinson, said: 'I am incredibly impressed by Penny and Mavis. Most people half their ages would struggle to complete such a mammoth bike ride. They are very determined women, who are willing to go to extreme lengths to raise money for Macmillan. We really appreciate their efforts and I'm sure they will serve as an inspiration to others.'

To donate to Mavis Paterson visit http and to donate to Penny Weir visit Alternatively you can sponsor Paterson by calling Macmillan' south of Scotland fundraising 0ffice on 01899 229059, or sponsor Weir by calling the north of Scotland office on 01224 701505.


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