Mass cycle takes over Edinburgh city centre

Radio presenter Jenni Falconer takes part in the HSBC UK Let's Ride event in the capital. Picture: SWpix.com
Radio presenter Jenni Falconer takes part in the HSBC UK Let's Ride event in the capital. Picture: SWpix.com

Thousands of cyclists took over streets in Edinburgh city centre yesterday for a mass ride to encourage more people to travel by bike.

The free Let’s Ride event saw families pedalling round a three-mile circuit between Edinburgh Castle and The Meadows via George IV Bridge and Edinburgh University.

A total of 7,000 people took part in the cycle, which was organised by British Cycling and Scottish Cycling.

A similar event will take place in Glasgow city centre on Sunday, 26 August.

That more established ride is expected to attract up to 13,000 cyclists.

Heart radio presenter Jenni Falconer, who was among the riders, said: “Events like these are brilliant, because not only do they bring the whole community together, it gets you out and about and on a bike with your friends and family.

“Above all else, it allows you to see your city and its sights with no cars on the road. I’ve loved the festival feel of today.”

Other participants took to social media to enthuse about taking part.

Scottish Government researcher Franca tweeted: “What a completely perfect day for the Edinburgh city bike ride. ‘Best day ever’ says 5yo.”

Emma McNeill tweeted: “What an incredible day having fun on bikes in the sun!”

Leith Central community councillor Jack Caldwell said: “Done a few laps at #LetsRideEdinburgh today with a few thousand others – thank you for showing us what Edinburgh can be without congestion.”

Kinross Cycling Club president Paul Zarb said: “Terrific day. Lots of fun for thousands of people.”

Scottish Cycling chief executive Craig Burn said: “It helps when the sun is out but it’s great to see so many people come out for HSBC UK Let’s Ride Edinburgh.

“It’s put a smile on my face to ride past hundreds of people cheering you on while riding up the Royal Mile on our famous cobbles.

“Recreational cycling is a fundamental part of how we inspire two million more people to get on two wheels and make cycling an everyday activity.

“For us it’s about encouraging kids to cycle to school, adults to bike to work and also to get out with your family at weekends and be healthy.”

The event came three days after streets including The Mound were closed to mark Clean Air Day.