Seven female cyclists have ridden a team time trial along a route nicknamed “Scotland’s Route 66” in just under 36 hours, beating the target they had set themselves as well as the record of 37 hours 58 minutes posted by Mark Beaumont when he rode it solo last year.
Founded by Scotland and Great Britain mountain biker Lee Craigie, The Adventure Syndicate took on VisitScotland’s North Coast 500 route, unveiled last year, with an anti-clockwise circuit starting and finishing at Inverness Castle.
She was joined by fellow founder members Emily Chappell, Rickie Cotter, Anne Ewing, Gaby Leveridge, Zara Muir and Jo Thom on the ride, which began on Saturday morning and finished in the Highland Capital yesterday evening.
Other cyclists joined them for part of the route, which includes the climb of the Bealach-na-Ba, Scotland’s third highest road and which ascends from sea level at Applecross to 626 metres, making it the highest road climb in the UK.
— Adventure Syndicate (@adventuresynd) May 15, 2016
Writing on her blog when it was launched, Craigie outlined why she and the other members of The Adventure Syndicate had decided to set it up:
Women and girls can be discouraged from participating in sport for any number of social and psychological reasons but The Adventure Syndicate believes that independent, adventurous travel may succeed where more traditional routes have failed.
Although many women and girls are not attracted by the more overtly competitive elements of cycling, the personal and social benefits of riding for adventure or exploration can ensure a similar beneficial outcome. In addition, the possibilities for empowerment through the planning and execution of an adventurous bike ride can have untold benefits on participants’ self-esteem and confidence.
She also summarised The Adventure Syndicate’s goals as follows:
– to encourage and enable our audience to take on their own adventure
– to offer advice and make tangible links with services in local communities that will help more girls and women achieve their adventurous objectives
– to provide an alternative, diverse, powerful female sporting model in the cycling industry where the activity, and not the looks of the participant, takes precedence.
More information about The Adventure Syndicate can be found on its website.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.