HUNDREDS of cyclists are set to saddle up for the annual SEStran Two Capitals Cycle Ride from Fife to Edinburgh.
The popular event – which starts at Dunfermline Glen before crossing the Forth Bridge – is the south-east of Scotland’s biggest all-abilities cycle ride.
Celebrating its ninth year, Sunday’s event aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take up cycling for fun, exercise and as a form of transportation for shorter journeys.
Setting off at 12.30pm, more than 300 riders will complete the 25-mile course from Dunfermline – the former royal capital of Scotland – to Victoria Park in Newhaven.
Organisers the South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran), in partnership with radio station Kingdom FM, have been keen to stress that the event is “a non-competitive, family friendly ride” and you don’t need to look good in Lycra or own an expensive bike to take part.
SEStran chair Russell Imrie said: “We’ve had a marvellous response already and are hoping for a bumper turnout on the ride this year.
“If you haven’t signed up yet, now is the time to do so, but latecomers can still take part – just turn up a bit early on the day and join in.
“We hope to see many new participants joining the hundreds that already make the SEStran Two Capitals Cycle Ride part of their summer.”
Children’s charity Kingdom Kids is this year’s nominated charity partner.
Kingdom FM’s Darren Stenhouse said: “There’s no better reason to get out on two wheels with the whole family than the SEStran Two Capitals Cycle Ride.
“Take on the challenge at your own pace and enjoy some of the finest scenery the south-east of Scotland has to offer.”
Organiser Allan Prentice, of Prentice Events, added: “The weather is due to be good this weekend, which is ideal for a family cycle, so a warm welcome awaits all this Sunday.”
Buses and transportation is available to ferry participants and their bikes to either the start or from the finish.
The event is part of the UK-wide Bike Week, which sees a whole host of two-wheeled events taking place across the country aimed at encouraging more than half a million people to join in.
National cycling charity CTC’s Bike Week co-ordinator Jonathan Sharpe said: “We know that many people ride to work already, but if they don’t, Bike Week is the perfect opportunity to start.”
“With ambitious plans for cycling to become a regular fixture for millions more people, it’s clear that Bike Week has a really important role to play in making us a truly cycling nation.”
There are a range of other Bike Week events also taking place in the Capital under the banner of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling.
In 2014 the festival offered more than 80 individual events at 46 different venues. This year the festival, which runs from June 11-21, will focus on women’s participation in cycling.
Smooth transition as safer cycle route opens
Gogar Station Road has reopened after being resurfaced and made more cycle friendly.
The rat-run route – already a narrow and twisty road – had become more hazardous for cyclists due to bumps and potholes. As a key link between the canal towpath and the A8 cycle path, it was a priority to be tackled.
The new design has seen the removal of the road centre-line with advisory cycle lanes at the side. It is hoped this will improve conditions for cyclists. A reduced speed limit may also be imposed for other road users.
Pictured trying out the new surface were David Monaghan, Becky Taylor, Craig Robertson, Edinburgh City Council leader Andrew Burns and Henry Whaley.