The event features 10,000 participants tackling a choice of 3 different routes (110miles, 47miles and 9 miles). The longer two routes start in Glasgow Green with the shorter, family fun ride starting in Kirkliston. They all finish together at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh where we also have a cycle festival. Approximately 40% of the 47mile route is on traffic free sections.

The event in 2013 was filmed by STV (Scottish TV) and broadcast as part of their STV Challenge programme.

The event is one of Cycling Scotland's main promotional tools. It represents a unique way to encourage people to get on a bike, and is a fantastic opportunity to showcase how enjoyable cycling can be by providing a fantastic event experience. The rider profile is a broad cross section of the community from a first time event rider to regular cyclists.

For 2013 the overall event consisted of:

  • Main Challenge - The ride uses a mixture of closed roads, quiet back road and cycle paths to take riders from Glasgow to Edinburgh via rest stops at Drumpellier Country Park in North Lanarkshire, Avonbridge School Playing Fields in Falkirk, Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian and Kirkliston Leisure Centre in Edinburgh.
  • Sportive - The Sportive ride was introduced to cater for the more committed road cyclist that the event attracts. The route uses the same start and finish points as the Challenge ride, but takes a completely separate route south from Glasgow through Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire with the rest stops at Loudoun, CrawfordJohn and Carnwath.
  • Edinburgh Family Ride - The family ride uses the last 9 miles of the Challenge Ride from Kirkliston Leisure Centre to Murrayfield Stadium to offer a short and largely traffic free ride that is suitable for new cyclists and families with young children.

Since 2007, when Pennine Events were first contracted, the participation levels have grown dramatically. We introduced the Sportive ride and the Family Ride in 2011 to further boost participation levels.

In delivering the event we work closely with the local communities along the route, the various local authorities through which the event passes, Sustrans, Scottish Ambulance Service and the SRU (Scottish Rugby Club). We work particularly closely with Police Scotland over the traffic and route management operation.

Event Objectives

  • To encourage widespread cycle use
  • To maximise media exposure of the event, so pro-cycling message filters through to non-participants
  • To encourage different sections of the community to cycle, such as women, children, ethnic minorities
  • To establish freshnlo Pedal for Scotland as a UK brand, attracting cyclists from around the UK
  • To achieve the highest amount of fundraising possible
  • To position freshnlo Pedal for Scotland amongst Scotland's premier mass participation events
  • To boost tourism to Glasgow and Edinburgh by attracting riders from outside the Scottish Central belt
  • To reinforce the message that freshnlo Pedal for Scotland and cycling in general are accessible to everyone, regardless of age, gender and many disabilities
  • To promote Cycling Scotland

Event Report / Testimonials

Since Pennine Events started organising the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland the event has won 11 awards, including Best UK Sports Event two years in a row (2010, 2011), Best Sports Event and Best Outdoor Event at the Scottish Event Awards 2010.

The Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland, Ian Aitken, endorsed the 2013 event 'the best one yet'.

The event raises, on average, around £200,000 for its official charity. In 2013 the charity was the STV Appeal. Previously it has been Maggie's and Leukaemia Research. Participants are also free to raise money for their charity of choice.

The rider survey evaluation results for 2012 showed that participants gave high satisfaction scores (90% or greater) and over half of those who took part in the sportive and challenge had taken part the year before.

Key Highlights


For the first time, 2013 saw Pedal for Scotland become part of a documentary on STV, filming the day from start to finish. Celebrities who took part in the ride included Mark Beaumont - who started the ride, STV presenters Sean Batty and Raman Bhardwaj, and the Angels' Share star, Paul Brannigan.

The event received a substantial amount of coverage via Scottish news channels and national papers.

Overall Summary of Event

Pedal for Scotland is a mass participation, leisure ride for people of all fitness levels. The 2013 event was the 14th time the event has been held.


Pedal for Scotland is Scotland's largest bike ride which continues to set very high standards year on year demonstrated by the numerous awards it has won. It continues to set the standard for mass participation cycle rides.