THOUSANDS of people have got on their bikes for the country’s biggest mass participation cycling event.
Cyclist Mark Beaumont and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Louise Haston led the charge from the start line in Glasgow in the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland event.
The annual challenge sees thousands of people pedal from Glasgow Green to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
This year, more than 6500 riders took part in the 47-mile Challenge Ride while over 700 took on the 110-mile Sportive, which takes a different route through the Southern Uplands and features in excess of 2,400 metres of ascent.
In addition, about 600 riders took part in events in Edinburgh including the nine-mile Family Ride and four-mile Circular Route.
Keith Irving, chief executive of event organiser Cycling Scotland, said: “To be joined at freshnlo Pedal for Scotland by over 8000 people on bikes this morning was very special.
“Having Commonwealth Games medallist Louise Haston and our ambassador Mark Beaumont along for the ride really added to the occasion and further inspired the riders.
“The 16th year of freshnlo Pedal for Scotland has involved the biggest logistical operation yet and I am looking forward to continuing the cycle buzz in Aberdeen on Sunday September 14 with our free five-mile Family Ride and in Glasgow on Sunday, September 21, with our Family Ride and stunt show at the Velodrome with Danny MacAskill and his ‘Drop and Roll’ team.”
“We appreciate the patience of businesses and residents along the routes which allowed people to ride across Scotland safely and for barriers to be removed efficiently as soon as possible afterwards.”
Beaumont said: “In this huge year of sport for Glasgow and Scotland, it feels very special to be on my bike with a Commonwealth Games champion like Louise Haston and to see how many people the Games have inspired to saddle up, sign up and enjoy a great day of cycling with us.”