Pedal for Scotland: bike rides, routes and how much it costs to enter Scotland’s biggest cycle event

Pedal for Scotland attracted thousands of participants during its 20-year history
Pedal for Scotland attracted thousands of participants during its 20-year history

This year marks the last ever Pedal for Scotland event, which sees cyclists of all levels and ages taking part in a bike ride challenge between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Organised by Cycling Scotland, it’s the country’s biggest mass participation cycle event and returns for its 20th edition on Sunday 8 September.

Riders get stunning views of the countryside. (Picture: Pedal for Scotland)

Riders get stunning views of the countryside. (Picture: Pedal for Scotland)

The race has grown in size each year, with the first in 1999 attracting 400 participants, while today’s event has thousands of riders.

Here’s everything you need to know about Pedal for Scotland.

What bike rides can I choose from?

Catering for all ages and abilities, there are three rides to choose from: the 45-mile Classic Challenge from Glasgow to Edinburgh, the 100-mile Big Belter from Glasgow to Edinburgh and a 10-mile family-friendly Wee Jaunt from Linlithgow to Edinburgh.

There are plenty of rest areas along the way. (Picture: Pedal for Scotland)

There are plenty of rest areas along the way. (Picture: Pedal for Scotland)

Every participant of Pedal for Scotland receives a medal at the end of their race.

Here’s more info on each race:

Wee Jaunt Scotland

Start: Linlithgow 8.30am

Finish: Royal Highland Centre

This ride is aimed at families, as well as beginners and people keen to get back into cycling. It’s a great day out, with refreshments and music along the way.

You’ll start your morning in Linlithgow and cycle 10 miles on closed roads to the finish line, enjoying a great atmosphere along the way.

At the event village, you can enjoy a range of activities for all ages as well as lots of refreshments, providing the perfect day out for families and friends, no matter what your age or cycling ability.

Classic Challenge

Start: Glasgow Green from 7:30am - 9:00am

Finish: Edinburgh by 4:00pm

Aimed at people of all ages and abilities, this route takes you on a 45-mile closed road cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh, with a guaranteed tail wind.

You’ll start the Classic Challenge from Glasgow Green in Glasgow and head east, cycling through the stunning Scottish countryside.

With refreshment stops in Drumpellier Country Park, Slammannan and Linlithgow, you can take your time along this relatively flat route before crossing the finish line in Edinburgh.

The Big Belter

Start: Glasgow Green from 06:45am - 7:00am

Finish: Edinburgh by 4:00pm

For experienced riders who want to challenge themselves, the Big Belter is the perfect bike ride.

The 100-mile, well sign-posted route starts in Glasgow Green, Glasgow, with the first 20 miles on closed roads.

You’ll then tackle some steep climbs and challenging descents as you enjoy the beautiful countryside views of South Lanarkshire and West Lothian before arriving in Edinburgh.

How much does it cost to enter?

Prices vary, depending on which race you choose, whether your ticket is concession, and whether you opt for standard or gold entry.

Gold entry includes a Technical T-shirt (£9.99 to buy individually), bag transfer from start to finish and access to showers (£6 to buy individually), priority queuing at rest stops, and in addition, for Classic Challenge participants, a startline queue skip.

If you have signed up already with the Standard entry and would like to upgrade to Gold, please email info@pedal.scot to make the change.

Concessions are available for those aged under 16, over 60 or in full-time education.

You’re welcome to bring friends, family or colleagues - simply share the referral link that you get after registration. If you can encourage three people to sign up, you get 15% off entry.

Riders also receive a 20% discount at Cycle Republic until 21 September.

Here are the prices for the races (excluding a small processing fee):

The Wee Jaunt

Adult - £9

Child - £6

Family entry (1 adult and 2 children) - £15

Family entry (2 adults and 2 children) - £20

Tag-a-long or child seat – free

Classic Challenge

Standard entry: £31 (£23 concessions)

Gold entry: £43 (£35 concessions)

Big Belter

Standard entry: £51 (£43 concessions)

Gold entry: £ 63 (£55 concessions)

20th anniversary t-shirt

The 20th-anniversary t-shirt is a technical t-shirt for the first time, made using light, breathable material that wicks moisture from your skin.

It’s proven so popular that some sizes are now sold out. If you’re purchasing one, make sure you’re choosing from the correct size chart (adults or children).

Keep in mind the technical material used this year tends to be a tighter fit, and kids’ sizes are just a guide based on age, so you should pay attention to measurements.

If you’re having any issues ordering a t-shirt, contact info@pedal.scot.

If you’ve already registered for Pedal for Scotland, you can add a t-shirt to your entry by emailing info@pedal.scot.

Bag transfer and showers

Bag transfers and showers are included in the Gold offer or can be added during your entry registration for £6.

This means you can leave your bag at the start line and pick it up at the finish line and not worry about it while you're enjoying the event.

The drop off and pick up areas will be clearly signed on the day and marked on the map in your rider booklet.

Showers will be available at the finish line.

Transport to the start line

A limited number of return tram tickets between Edinburgh Haymarket and Ingliston Park & Ride were available to purchase, but these are now sold out.

Edinburgh Trams reserve the right to refuse entry to riders without official Pedal for Scotland Tram tickets on the day.

Can participants raise money for charity?

This year Pedal for Scotland have teamed up with British Heart Foundation, SAMH, Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity and STV Appeal to get more people cycling while supporting good causes.

Participants are encouraged to fundraise for or donate to these organisations when taking part in the event.

Is the event sustainable?

Cycling Scotland, with their event management companies, is trying to reduce single-use plastic at Pedal for Scotland this year.

The team recognises that with thousands of participants, the amount of single-use plastic can add up.

Water bottles are just one of the areas Pedal for Scotland are looking to improve upon, and they strongly encourage every participant to bring their own water bottle for the event.