Round the world cycling superstar and event ambassador Mark Beaumont led the charge this morning from the Glasgow Green start line, joined by Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Double Silver medallist Louise Haston, Capital FM breakfast DJ Jennie Cook and a host of STV faces including weatherman Sean Batty, presenter Gordon Chree and Riverside Show presenters David Farrell, Jennifer Reoch, Storm Huntley and Colin Stone.
Now in its 16th year, freshnlo Pedal for Scotland sees thousands of people pedal from Glasgow Green to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Over 6,500 riders took part in the 47 mile Challenge Ride and over 700 took the on the 110 mile Sportive, which takes a different route through the Southern Uplands and features over 2,400 metres of ascent.
In addition, around 600 riders took part in freshnlo Pedal for Scotland family-friendly events in Edinburgh. The traditional 9 Mile Family Ride allows riders of all ages and abilities to cycle the last stretch of the main freshnlo Pedal for Scotland event course and cross the finish line at Murrayfield. The 4 Mile Circular Route, new for 2014, provided an opportunity for younger families to cycle together and participate.
Many participants were raising money for children and young people affected by poverty by supporting the event’s charity partner, The STV Appeal.
The rides today are the first in a series of freshnlo Pedal for Scotland events, with two further family rides in Aberdeen and Glasgow organised for Sunday 14 September and Sunday 21 September respectively.
Keith Irving, chief executive of event organiser Cycling Scotland said: “To be joined at freshnlo Pedal for Scotland by over 8,000 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.”
“It’s great to have the support from our sponsor Muller Wiseman who entered the largest corporate team this year with over 150 riders and who helped riders stay hydrated with cartons of freshnlo at stops along the course.”
“Support for our event charity partner, the STV Appeal, has been fantastic for the second year and it’s terrific to have a large team from STV including weatherman Sean Batty and Riverside Show presenters David, Jenifer, Storm and Colin cycling with us.”
“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 14 September with our free 5 Mile Family Ride and in Glasgow on Sunday 21 September 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.”
Mark Beaumont, round the world cyclist and adventurer added: “I have taken part in freshnlo Pedal for Scotland many times throughout the years and it’s always a great event. I’ve seen it grow in popularity year on year and now recognise many of the cyclists from previous freshnlo Pedal for Scotland events. 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.”
STV weather presenter Sean Batty said: “I’ve taken on quite a few cycling challenges for the STV Appeal by now and it’s been great to get back in the saddle for this year’s freshnlo Pedal for Scotland. Today’s event has been a fantastic opportunity to raise money for the Appeal and help their fight against child poverty in Scotland, while enjoying a brilliant day out with the rest of Team STV. I hope we can encourage even more people join us in supporting the STV Appeal next year.”
To see more photos from freshnlo Pedal for Scotland on 7 Sep 2014, visit our facebook gallery here