Cycling Edinburgh

Organised bike rides in and around Edinburgh


Welcome. On this page, you'll find details of all organised bike rides in or near the Scottish capital. These rides are run by local cycling clubs, groups and individuals, and are mostly free and open to all. If you like the idea of cycling in congenial company with a knowledgeable leader, you're sure to find a run here that's right for your experience and level of fitness.

On this page:

Forthcoming rides

Regular weekly rides

Other bike-related events

 

Thursday
10°
17 mph
Friday
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10 mph
Saturday
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9 mph

Sunset: 21:40

 


Last updated: 23rd May

Forthcoming rides

Thursday 26th May 2016 : Edinburgh 20-Milers Evening Ride
A moderately-paced sociable ride of 15 - 20 miles, lasting two to three hours. Most of the route will be on bike paths and quiet roads, but there might also be some short sections on main roads. The ride will end after dark, so be sure to bring lights, and check that these are in working order. Note that there will be no refreshment stop. Meet: 19.00, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place) [map]. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Sunday 29th May : EasyCycle Short Ride
A short informal ride of 12 - 15 miles, which will be taken at a gentle pace with plenty of stops. These rides are especially suitable for less experienced riders and those who haven't cycled for a while. The route will mainly be on bike paths and quiet roads, and will try to avoid steep hills. There will be a pub or café stop at lunchtime, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Meet: 10.30, in front of Peter's Yard café, Middle Meadow Walk. Cost and booking: Free. No need to book; just turn up. Further information: Jim Cameron (0131 466 6156, ), or see the EasyCycle website.

Saturday 4th June : Bethany Sportive
This popular sportive is a charity event aimed at the "serious amateur" cyclist. It aims to raise funds to help homeless and vulnerable people (£14,000 was raised last year). The ride is non-competitive, but each rider will be individually timed, with all times being published on the Bethany website after the event. There will be food and water stations offering refreshments along the routes; those wanting something more substantial should bring their own food. The event is limited to 450 riders. Routes: There is a choice of three routes. The Super Challenge is a 102-mile circuit of the Scottish Borders and the Moorfoot Hills; this is a demanding route, with 8,000 feet of ascent. The Challenge route is a (slightly) less strenuous 72-mile option, taking in the River Tweed and Gala Water valleys. And the Taster Challenge is a shorter 30-mile circuit, intended for riders who prefer not to try either of the longer options. Time and place: Riders will set out at two-minute intervals between 08.00 and 09.30 (between 09.30 and 10.00 for the Taster Challenge), from Lasswade High School, Eskdale Drive, Bonnyrigg (which is about eight miles from the centre of Edinburgh). Riders are expected to complete the route by 17.00. Cost: £36 entry fee for the two longer routes, £23 for the Taster Challenge, plus sponsorship money in all cases. The fee will be waived for the first 50 entrants who undertake to raise at least £100 in sponsorship.  Registration and further information: See the event's website, or contact Laurie Frank (phone 0131 561 8930, email ).

Sunday 5th June : Spokes
A moderately-paced ride of about 50 miles. These rides are aimed at the averagely-fit cyclist who rides regularly and is comfortable cycling for a reasonable period at 10 to 12 mph. Most rides include a longish lunch stop at a pub or café, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Today's ride should end around 17.00. Meet: 10.00, at the Usher Hall, Lothian Road [map]. Cost and booking: Free, no need to book. Further information: Spokes, or contact Stuart Threlfall (0131 445 7073)

Saturday 11th June : Edinburgh to St Andrews (Lepra) Ride 2016
The annual charity run to St Andrews in aid of leprosy relief. This is a demanding 68-mile ride through the Fife countryside, with more than a few hills to climb en route. But there's a great atmosphere, and you'll get a wonderful sense of achievement when you finish. You ride at your own pace, either alone or in the company of others, enjoying excellent scenery and superb refreshment stops along the way. A repair van and first-aiders accompany the ride. Time and place: The ride starts at 08.45 from the west gate of Inverleith Park. Cost and booking: Advanced registration required. £10 per person (£5 concessions). Transport back to Edinburgh is £16 for a rider and bike.  Further information: Click here for full details of the St. Andrews ride, including an overview of the route, how to register, and the organisers' contact details.

Saturday 11th June : Edinburgh 20-Milers
An easy-to-moderate ride, suitable both for occasional cyclists and those with a little more experience. These runs are a good choice for riders who are comfortable pedalling 15 - 20 miles in a day, but might not feel ready for a long strenuous day in the saddle. (If you haven't cycled for a while, or are unsure of your abilities, consider starting with EasyCycle instead; their runs are listed elsewhere on this page.) Most rides are around 20 miles, and are taken at a "sociable" pace (8 - 9 mph over the day, which is not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation). The routes favour bike paths and quiet roads where possible. There is usually a lunch stop at a café or pub, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Most rides end mid afternoon. Route and destination: For details of today's route and lunch stop, please check back here nearer the time. Meet: 10.30, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place) [map]. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Tuesday 14th June : Evening Coast and Park Ride
A liesurely ride from Marchmont to Roseburn, Silverknowes and Holyrood Park, mainly on traffic-free paths and quiet roads, with an optional pub visit afterwards. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: The ride will leave at 18.00, from Laid Back Bikes, 28 Marchmont Crescent, returning at about 21.00. Cost and booking: The ride is free, but advanced booking is required as numbers are limited. Further information and booking: Laid Back Bikes (email: ; phone: 07981 430159).

Friday 17th June : Edinburgh Night Ride
A 60-mile overnight ride through quiet roads in East Lothian, with a meal stop at about the half-way point and breakfast at the finish. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event, sponsored by the Leith Cycle Company. Cost and booking: £25 per person (including the two meals). Advanced booking is required; see the Festival of Cycling website for details.

Sunday 19th June : CTC Long
A full-day ride of 40 - 60 miles, taken at a reasonably fast pace. Most rides include a café stop for lunch. Meet: The meeting point for these rides varies, and is only confirmed a few days in advance, on the group's message board. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: CTC Lothians, or contact Maureen Young (0131 661 3325).

Sunday 19th June : Ligfiets Zondag
A leisurely ride from Marchmont to Silverknowes. Bring your own bike or hire one on the day. Lunch will be at the Boardwalk café on the Silverknowes Esplanade, or bring your own food for a picnic. There will also be an opportunity to try out various trikes, tandems, recumbents and load bikes; this will take place at the lunch stop (from about 12.00). Children welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: The ride will leave at 10.00, from Laid Back Bikes, 28 Marchmont Crescent, returning at about 16.00. Cost and booking: The ride is free and open to all; just turn up. Bike hire is £17 for the day, and should be booked in advance. Further information: Laid Back Bikes (email: ; phone: 07981 430159).

Thursday 23rd June : Edinburgh 20-Milers Evening Ride
A moderately-paced sociable ride of 15 - 20 miles, lasting two to three hours. Most of the route will be on bike paths and quiet roads, but there might also be some short sections on main roads. The ride will end around dusk, so be sure to bring lights, and check that these are in working order. Note that there will be no refreshment stop. Meet: 19.00, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place) [map]. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Saturday 25th June : Edinburgh 20-Milers Extra
The second of the group's Extra rides for this year. At about 30 - 35 miles, these are longer than the usual 20-Milers runs, and go at a slightly faster pace. More details of today's ride, including meeting place, meeting time and destination, will appear here nearer the time. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Sunday 26th June : EasyCycle Short Ride
A short informal ride of 12 - 15 miles, which will be taken at a gentle pace with plenty of stops. These rides are especially suitable for less experienced riders and those who haven't cycled for a while. The route will mainly be on bike paths and quiet roads, and will try to avoid steep hills. There will be a pub or café stop at lunchtime, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Meet: 10.30, in front of Peter's Yard café, Middle Meadow Walk. Cost and booking: Free. No need to book; just turn up. Further information: Jim Cameron (0131 466 6156, ), or see the EasyCycle website.

Sunday 3rd July : Spokes
A moderately-paced ride of about 50 miles. These rides are aimed at the averagely-fit cyclist who rides regularly and is comfortable cycling for a reasonable period at 10 to 12 mph. Most rides include a longish lunch stop at a pub or café, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Today's ride should end around 17.00. Meet: 10.00, at the Usher Hall, Lothian Road [map]. Cost and booking: Free, no need to book. Further information: Spokes, or contact Stuart Threlfall (0131 445 7073)

Saturday 9th July to Sunday 10th July : Mellow Velo Northumberland Weekend
A weekend of cycling in Northumberland, with overnight "bunk room" accommodation (five-person shared room) in Alwinton (£20 per person plus £5 for breakfast). Travel by Borders Railway to Tweedbank on the Saturday, returning from Alnmouth on the Sunday. There will be 55 - 60 miles of cycling on the first day, and about 40 miles on the second. Possible places to visit en route include Howick Gardens, Hulme Priory, Alnwick and Craster.  Further information: See also the Mellow Velo website.

Saturday 9th July : Edinburgh 20-Milers
An easy-to-moderate ride, suitable both for occasional cyclists and those with a little more experience. These runs are a good choice for riders who are comfortable pedalling 15 - 20 miles in a day, but might not feel ready for a long strenuous day in the saddle. (If you haven't cycled for a while, or are unsure of your abilities, consider starting with EasyCycle instead; their runs are listed elsewhere on this page.) Most rides are around 20 miles, and are taken at a "sociable" pace (8 - 9 mph over the day, which is not so fast that you can't keep up a conversation). The routes favour bike paths and quiet roads where possible. There is usually a lunch stop at a café or pub, or bring a picnic if you prefer. Most rides end mid afternoon. Route and destination: For details of today's route and lunch stop, please check back here nearer the time. Meet: 10.30, at the north end of Middle Meadow Walk (junction of Lauriston Place) [map]. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Sunday 11th September : Pedal for Scotland (Glasgow to Edinbugh) 2016
Scotland's largest charity bike ride, in aid of children's charity, STV Appeal. The annual ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh attracts riders of all ages and abilities (over 10,000 took part in 2015). You ride at your own pace, either on your own or in the company of others. Several rest and refreshment stops are provided along the way. There are three separate rides, as follows. Classic Challenge: Approximately 50 miles, mainly on quiet roads. This is the one that most participants choose. Big Belter: An alternative 110-mile route through the Southern Uplands, aimed at the more serious road cyclist. This has the same start and end points and the same transport arrangements as the main event. Wee Jaunt: A nine-mile ride following the same route as the final section of the Classic Challenge (exact route still to be confirmed). This option is especially suitable for young children and less experienced riders.  Registration: Advanced on-line registration required; go to the event's website (see below) and follow the 'Book Now' link for your chosen ride. Costs: Classic Challenge: £28 (£19 children and concessions). Big Belter: £45 (no concessionary rate). Wee jaunt: £8 (£5 children and concessions). These fees are all in addition to sponsorship money. Transport: Transport for bikes and riders is available from Edinburgh to the start point in Glasgow in the morning, or back to Glasgow in the evening. The cost is £20 for rider and bike. More information: Phone 0333 300 3485, email , or visit the Pedal for Scotland website.

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Regular weekly rides

CTC Tuesday evening rides
These are moderately-paced sociable rides of 15 to 25 miles, running every Tuesday from 3rd May to the 30th August, starting from the Commonwealth Pool [map] at 19.00. Rides sometimes include a pub stop on the way home. The rides usually finish after dark, so be sure to bring lights. No need to book: just turn up. Contact: Alastair Sim (, 0777 898 2265).

Full-day CTC rides
As well as their frequent Sunday rides (listed in the section above), CTC have longer runs every Wednesday throughout the year. These are moderate-to-fast rides of 50 to 70 miles, aimed at reasonably fit cyclists. The starting times and meeting points vary, so please check the current rides list on the CTC web site, or contact Philip Rankin (0131 334 4213, ). Note that the group no longer has regular Saturday rides.

Edinburgh RC
This group has rides every Saturday and Sunday. These are fast rides, aimed at serious cyclists who are interested in cycling at speed in a group and those training to race. Further information: Edinburgh RC (email: ).

Note: The above groups welcome non-members on their rides, but those who cycle with them regularly will be asked to join.

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Other bike-related events

Thursday 9th June 2016 to Sunday 26th June 2016 : Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2016
Now in its fourth year, EFOC is a series of events which, according to its organisers, will be "a real showcase for all aspects of cycling culture", one that will "put Edinburgh on the international map as a cycling city." Extended this year to 17 days, the programme includes over 70 individual events, including family bike rides, sightseeing tours, films, plays, workshops, talks, discussions, contests, and even a speed-dating session. Details of selected events appear on this page. For full details of all the events, pick up a programme booklet from local bike shops or cafés, or see the Festival of Cycling website.

Thursday 9th June : SEStran Commuter Challenge
Aimed at seeing which mode of transport is fastest in rush-hour traffic, this event involves commuters setting out from points around the city, by car, bus, train, tram, bike and on foot. Departure points are Ferrytoll, Ingliston, Straiton and Newcraighall. Participants will converge on St Andrews Square for results and prize-giving at 08.15. Spectators welcome. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event.

Thursday 9th June to Saturday 18th June : Brompton Folding Competition
As part of the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, Biketrax is again hosting a competition to see who can fold a Brompton bike in the shortest time. Prizes for the three best entrants, with a trophy for the overall winner (winning times are usually around ten seconds). Preliminary rounds are on 9th, 14th, 15th and 16th June (11.00 - 18.00), with the finals on 18th June (14.00 - 15.00). Spectators welcome. Refreshments will be served at the finals. Time and place: Biketrax, 11 - 13 Lochrin Place.

Saturday 11th June : Edinburgh Moonwalk 2016
An overnight "power walking" marathon in which thousands of women (and a few men) pound the streets of Edinburgh wearing decorated bras, with the aim of raising money towards breast cancer charities (last year, over £8 million was raised). Although not itself a cycling-related event, the organisers rely on a team of volunteer cyclists to patrol the route and give aid and support to the participants. Volunteer cyclists work in three shifts: Saturday evening to midnight; overnight Saturday and Sunday; and Sunday morning. You will need your own bike, should be reasonably fit, and ideally have a good knowledge of the area. Further information: phone 01483 741430, email , or visit the volunteers' web page.

Sunday 12th June : Velo Market
A chance to view and purchase a large range of bikes, cycle clothing and accessories from various suppliers, plus information stalls, workshops and test rides. Free admission. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: 10.30 - 16.30, at the Centre for Carbon Innovation, High School Yards (off Infirmary Street).

Monday 13th June : Spokes Public Meeting
Talks and discussions on the theme of cycling and health — the balance between higher fitness levels and greater life expectancy of cyclists vs. the risks they face from accidents and pollution. Speakers include Chris Oliver (Honorary Professor of Physical Activity at Edinburgh University), Emilia Hanna (Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner), Jodi Gordon  (Cycle Law Scotland), and Cammy Day (Vice Convener of Edinburgh City Council’s Health Committee); chaired by Dr Helen Zealley (former Public Health Director at NHS Lothian). The meeting is free and open to all.  Time: Doors open 18.45 for coffee, stalls and informal chat. The meeting starts at 19.30. Place: Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge. Further information: Email , phone 0131 313 2114 (answering machine), or see this page on the Spokes website.

Wednesday 15th June : Spokes Bike Breakfast
All cyclists are welcome at the ever-popular annual Spokes breakfast at the City Chambers. Stalls, bike mechanic, chain wash, security marking, map sales, speeches, advice and information, and, of course, the complementary hot breakfast (and this year, for the first time, a range of healthy and vegetarian options will also be available). Time and place: 07.45 to 09.30, City Chambers Quadrangle, High Street.

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