World renowned adventurer Mark Beaumont officially launched the 17th Pedal for Scotland today, having just recently completed his own Cairo to Cape Town ‘Africa Solo’ cycling challenge in world record breaking time.
Mark, a long term ambassador and champion of the event, will be encouraging thousands of other riders to complete their own cycling challenge at Scotland’s biggest bike event on 6th September.
Mark was joined by the nation’s favourite weatherman, Sean Batty who is set to undertake his own Coast to Coast cycling challenge for the STV Children’s Appeal in just a few days. A veteran of Pedal for Scotland, Sean will also be saddling up to ride the Classic Challenge, raising money for the STV Children’s Appeal. Charline Joiner, Commonwealth medallist and Scottish cycling star, and Jennie Cook, Capital FM Presenter were also on hand to inspire riders to make Pedal for Scotland their challenge for 2015.
Pedal for Scotland, organised by Cycling Scotland and funded by Transport Scotland, offers a ride suitable for all ages and abilities. As well as the iconic 50 mile Glasgow to Edinburgh Classic Challenge, the event includes an epic 110 mile Big Belter ride for the more experience road cyclist, and several shorter Wee Jaunt rides in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, ideal for families and first time riders.
The Classic Challenge ride takes participants on a scenic route between Glasgow and the capital city along a majority of closed roads, finishing in style at Murrayfield Stadium. There are plenty of rest stops along the way with a free lunch in the stunning grounds in Linlithgow Palace and some much welcomed home baking at Avonbridge.
Participants of Pedal for Scotland can also raise money for children and young people in Scotland affected by poverty by supporting the STV Children’s Appeal, who return as the official charity partner to the event for a third year. Last year participants raised over £110,000 for the Appeal, with this year’s total aiming to be even higher.
Mark Beaumont who has just returned from his Africa Solo cycling challenge said: “Pedal for Scotland is by far the biggest and most sociable ride of my year, I am really looking forwards to another great event. 2015 has seen me pedal the length of Africa, solo and unsupported for a new World Record, and now that I am back home to Scotland my aim is to encourage as many people as I can to get outside and get cycling this summer. Pedal for Scotland is the perfect event to get cycling fit for over the coming months.”
TV weatherman Sean Batty said: “Not only is cycling good for you and environmentally friendly, it is a fantastic and enjoyable way to fundraise. Don’t worry if the distance is a bit daunting – you can get out and enjoy the 6 mile wee jaunt – a great way for younger cyclists to get started on the road to what is likely to be a life-long passion! “
Capital FM Presenter Jennie Cook said: “I’m super excited about taking part in this year’s event. Last year I had an unbelievable amount of fun and it was far easier than I thought it would be too. For those who cycle regularly, or for those who just fancy a fun challenge, you can’t do better than riding your bike between Glasgow and Edinburgh with amazing cake stops along the way!”
Commonwealth Medallist and Scottish cycling athlete Charline Joiner said: “Over the past few years cycling in Scotland has gone from strength to strength and it’s great to see events such as Pedal for Scotland taking place, especially for the 17th year running. Events like this are key to getting people of all ages and abilities involved in cycling whether it be for sport, leisure, to stay fit or have fun! I can’t wait to be involved.”
The Pedal for Scotland Classic Challenge ride, Big Belter and Edinburgh Wee Jaunt and Murrayfield Wee Jaunt will all be held on Sunday 6 September. The Glasgow Wee Jaunt take place the day before the main event, on 5 September and the Aberdeen Wee Jaunt will be hosted on 13 September.