Pedal for Scotland took place on 14 September, with over 5000 riders taking part. Cyclists of all ages and abilities took part in the ride from Glasgow Green to Victoria Park in Edinburgh, which had regular rest stops, free snacks and entertainment along the route. Pedal for Scotland was established by Cycling Scotland in 1999 to promote cycling as a healthy lifestyle choice and is now Scotland’s biggest bike ride. When the ride began only 400 participants took part however this figure has continually grown over the past ten years proving the increasing popularity of cycling. Including this year’s figures, a massive 20,000 people have ridden the ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh and over £800,000 has been raised for charity in the past nine years. Of this figure £500,000 was raised for Leukemia Research alone, the ride’s official partner.
Tracy Lazenby and Fraser Paterson took part in the 9th running of this event, cycling the 50 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh. Congratulations to them both on what by all accounts was a well organized and very enjoyable event.
Tracy wrote “Having missed the racing season and ERN series runs due to injury, I was keen to participate in something that resembled a race. Hence, Fraser and I registered for Pedal for Scotland, Glasgow Green to Edinburgh Victoria Park on 14 September. Firstly, this wasn’t a race, so no pressure to complete in a certain time, and just as well given that one needed to negotiate a fair level of traffic to get out of Glasgow. The event was impeccably organised, with bus transport of participants and bikes to and from Glasgow depending on where they started. Cyclists set off at a leisurely pace with no ‘official’ start time and the route was very well marshalled from the outset. The event attracts a wide variety of people, from keen speed cyclists to grannies to kids. However with so many cyclists there was a high risk of accidents, and the ambulance attended to at least four accidents along the way.
We were asked to obey the highway code at all times, although many cyclists appeared too impatient for this. I can see why motorists sometimes get exasperated with cyclists who seem to follow their own rules, but then it seemed slightly unrealistic for them to expect 5000 cyclists to ride single file for just over 50 miles. And given that the event was sponsored for Leukemia research amongst other charities, it was disappointing to see some motorists honking and ranting for having to add an extra few minutes to their journey in aid of a good cause.
There were 4 to 5 rest stops along the way, and all were brilliantly organised with first aid stations, chocolate, tea, drinks and biscuits. Two rest stops had an onsite bike mechanic to help with any problems. The main rest stop was in the beautiful grounds of Linlithgow Palace, where lunch provided a huge choice of sandwiches, pasta, soup, fruit and tea and coffee. The finish in Victoria Park was like any other race, with loads of clapping and support from the public. Fraser and I donned our medals and t-shirts with pride as we hobbled back to the car.
For £20 (£32 including transport), this race was great value for money, and a very enjoyable experience. Highly recommended.”