A celebration of cycling will take place in Edinburgh next month with a mass ride through the centre of the city to mark the start of the Tour of Britain.
Following the Grand Depart of the 116-mile elite race on September 3, cyclists will be able to ride along a closed road route taking in some of the Capital’s best-known attractions.
The HSBC City Ride will offer cyclists the chance to pedal throughout the city on a route taking in Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and St Giles’ Cathedral.
Riders will set off after the starting pistol is fired on the Tour of Britain.
The route begins in the Meadows and heads east along Melville Drive, turning left along Buccleuch Street, up George IV Bridge for the Royal Mile, with a brief detour up and down Chambers Street.
After a short climb up the High Street, cyclists will be rewarded for their efforts with a comfortable downhill section on Johnston Terrace before the 4.5km (2.8 mile) ride heads back to the Meadows via Lady Lawson Street and Melville Drive.
In addition, riders will be able to benefit from free bike maintenance, courtesy of Halfords, and experiment with different types of cycle including rickshaws, choppers and tandems at a specially constructed “cycle hub” in the Meadows.
Track cyclist Callum Skinner, who claimed Olympic gold in the team sprint event at the 2016 games in Rio, revealed he was excited about a “fantastic” day of cycling in the capital.
“The HSBC UK City Ride route will allow participants to see and appreciate some of Edinburgh’s most iconic sights from a different perspective,” he said.
“This, coupled with the opportunity to watch some of the world’s best cyclists competing in the Tour of Britain, will make for a wonderful occasion and one which I hope will inspire thousands of people across the city.”
In April, it was announced world-class riders – including Britain’s Mark Cavendish and Geraint Thomas – would be among the riders racing through the historic city centre before winding their way into East Lothian and ending with a 49-mile loop around Kelso in Roxburghshire on the first day of the tour.
Crowds of up to 25,000 are expected to cheer competitors along the Capital’s streets.
Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s culture and communities convener, said: “Edinburgh’s HSBC City Ride will allow fans to pedal hot on the tracks of some of the world’s top cyclists.
“The route will be closed to traffic throughout, ensuring a safe, family-friendly cycle for all abilities and I’m sure citizens will join in their thousands and make the event a huge success.”
Ian Maxwell of city cycling group Spokes added: “Events like these are wonderful in showing that Edinburgh is perfectly suited to cycling, with the potential for some spectacular scenery along the way.
“However, you don’t have to be Mark Cavendish or an elite athlete to enjoy cycling.
“Cycling is for everyone and simply getting on a bike is a fantastic way to get some gentle exercise.”