Intercity bike ride pedals in the name of charity

Published

Benzo Harris

Pedal for Scotland, Scotland’s largest annual charity bike ride  saw over 5000 participants take up the challenge to cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

Starting off from Glasgow Green and finishing in the capital’s Victoria Park, the annual event has raised over £800,000 since it was launched in 1999 by Cycling Scotland as part of an initiative to encourage more Scots to take up the sport.

The day out was led by former Glasgow University student Mark Beaumont who is also the current Guinness world record holder for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bike. The politics and economics graduate cycled 18,297 miles in 194 days through 20 countries to finish at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris this year.

Even though only 400 people participated in the first ride of its kind when it was launched,  the bike ride in its near decade history has seen over 20,000 people take part and has raised over £500,000 alone for its main charity sponsor, Leukemia Research.

Ian Atkin, the event’s key organiser praised the figures saying: “It’s fantastic to see these huge rises in numbers year on year. The increasing popularity of this cycling event, and all the large running events that have taken place over the summer shows that Scots are buying in to the healthy living message.”

A Glasgow Uni student who took part in the event told Guardian: It was appealing because it was very relaxed. The mood was really chilled out. Some serious cyclists did it in three hours which is really impressive.”

The student was also keen to point out the ride’s appeal to all ages: “A vast majority of it was families with children, taking it easy and having a good time.  I’d  definitely like to do it again next year.”

Anyone interested in taking part in any other organized rides should go to http://cycling.visitscotland.com.