With only 100 days to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships come to Scotland, the organisers have launched a '23 Million Mile Challenge' in partnership with Love to Ride as part of the build up to the inaugural cycling mega-event takes place in Glasgow and across Scotland from 3-13 August.
Marking the occasion, endurance athlete Jenny Tough and YouTuber Katie Kookaburra recreated the first-ever bicycle ride undertaken by Scottish inventor Kirkpatrick Macmillan on the treadle bicycle in 1842.
At the start line in Dumfries, which will host the Para-cycling Road event during the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds, there was also a cycling showcase of all the unique bicycles that will feature across the 13 UCI World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland this summer. A replica of Kirkpatrick’s treadle bike was also on display after it was loaned from the Dumfries Museum.
To showcase Scotland as a place of invention and innovation ahead of the start of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the two riders started the journey from The Crichton in Dumfries and cycled 94 miles towards Glasgow, passing through Burnhead, Sanquhar, Cumnock and along The Sir Chris Hoy Cycle Way.
Once in Glasgow they went by the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the venue for the Track and Para-cycling Track competitions, which will be integrated into one event for the first time. From there they were joined by eleven-time UCI Track World Champion and six-time Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy and nineteen-time UCI Para-cycling World Champion and eight-time Paralympic Champion Jody Cundy on their way to the finish into George Square, passing through Glasgow Green, the venue for BMX Freestyle (both Flatland and Park), and Trials as well as a section of the road Team Time Trial Mixed Relay on the way.
On the marker of the 100 days to go to the Championships, Sir Chris Hoy, an Ambassador, said:
“In 100 days, the greatest cycling athletes in the world will bring the biggest and best cycling event in history to Scotland. The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be full of can’t-miss moments across the country for everyone to experience and enjoy.
“I’m thrilled to help mark today’s milestone and kickstart the 23 Million Mile Challenge by logging some of the first miles as part of the journey we can all be part of on the countdown to the Championships.”
UCI President David Lappartient said:
“The 23 Million Mile Challenge is a fantastic way to launch into the final 100 days before the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. With participants being able to choose how many miles they ride it gives everybody the chance to be part of this exciting event. Cycling is a sport for people of all levels and abilities, and the 23 Million Mile Challenge demonstrates that. I encourage everyone to sign up and ride together towards the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships!”
To kick off the 23 Million Mile Challenge, static bikes were placed in George Square and passers-by were encouraged to join in the challenge and log the first miles. Cyclists from across the UK are urged to complete as many miles as possible between April and the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in August.
Through the digital Love to Ride platform, cyclists can set goals, log their rides, track their progress, and connect with other riders through the network. Users can take part individually and contribute as few, or as many miles as they like. Individuals will earn chances to win prizes by riding their bikes and encouraging others to do the same.
You can learn more about Love to Ride and sign up here.
We're also pleased to share that you can now buy official merchandise for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships with the online store open today here.
On the Championships coming to Scotland, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said:
“Today we are not only celebrating the role Scotland has played in the history of cycling but we’re looking forward to the historic role Scotland is going to play by hosting this world first event in just 100 days. Throughout the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland, which is fantastic and affords an opportunity to show all that’s best about our country – our people, our culture, our towns, and cities."
With something for everyone to enjoy, the 2023 UCI Cycling Worlds will feature 13 high-adrenaline, exciting UCI World Championships including Track and Para-cycling Track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, BMX Racing at Glasgow BMX Centre, BMX Freestyle (Park and Flatland) and Trials at Glasgow Green, Indoor Cycling (artistic cycling and cycle-ball) at the Emirates Arena, Mountain Bike Cross-Country, and Marathon in Glentress Forest, Tweed Valley. Mountain Bike Downhill in Fort William and Road and Para-cycling Road across Scotland.
Tickets are on sale now from as little as £8, with concessions from £5, plus there are many free events to watch throughout the Championships. You can still buy tickets by clicking below.