14,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities got out on their bikes today and joined Graeme Obree and Lorraine Kelly for freshnlo Pedal for Scotland and Sky Ride Glasgow mass participation cycling events. The events joined forces for the first time this year to create the ultimate cycling festival in Scotland.
6,000 cyclists took to traffic-free streets for the chance to enjoy the city on their bikes for Sky Ride Glasgow which returned to the city for the third time this year. There was plenty of entertainment on and around the 10.6km route which took in some of the city's most iconic landmarks and sights including Glasgow Riverside, the new Riverside Museum, Nelson's Monument, Glasgow Green and the People's Palace.
Over 8,400 cyclists took part in freshnlo Pedal for Scotland. 7,285 people took part in the 51 mile Challenge Ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh and 900 people in the 100 mile sportive timed ride through the Southern Uplands, taking a longer route between Glasgow and Edinburgh for a serious challenge with both rides finishing at Edinburgh's Murrayfield stadium. Finally 250 cyclists where given the chance to take part in the brand new Edinburgh Family Ride which took in last nine miles of the Challenge Ride from Kirkliston to Murrayfield on a traffic free route.
Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree, freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Ambassador, said: "I think today was really special. As a cyclist with an enormous passion for cycling it really is marvelous to see so many people, of all ages, taking to the roads on their bicycles. Today Scotland was a showcase for the power of cycling - long may that continue."
TV presenter and Sky Ride Ambassador Lorraine Kelly, said: "Despite the weather it's been a lovely day here at Sky Ride Glasgow and great seeing so many people, especially families, getting out on their bikes and enjoying cycling on traffic-free streets. I hope today has inspired everyone who got on their bikes to keep on cycling over the coming months as it's not just about today. There are still plenty of opportunities to keep cycling in Scotland and I hope everyone continues to have fun on two wheels."
Transport Minister Keith Brown, who took part in the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Edinburgh Family Ride, said: "I was delighted to be one of the thousands of Scots who took part in today's inclusive event. The Scottish Government has set a challenging vision for 2020 that 10 per cent of all journeys taken in Scotland will be made by bike. The fantastic turnout for today's event shows that we are making good progress towards developing a cycling culture in Scotland."
Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland which organises freshnlo Pedal for Scotland, said: "What an amazing day for cycling! With lots of opportunities for people to get out on their bikes we've seen the largest amount of people for any event in Scotland's history. Bringing together freshnlo Pedal for Scotland and Sky Ride Glasgow really does offer a bike ride for everyone, and the huge numbers we've seen taking part today show cycling is now a mainstream activity."
Following the excitement of the big city ride, Glasgow residents are invited to join Sky Ride Local, a series of free local led-rides running every Sunday in and around Glasgow, which take in everything from the countryside to local sights.