Cycling Edinburgh

Organised bike rides in and around Edinburgh


Now in its tenth year, this page gives 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.

Thank you to everyone who has supported this site over the last decade - and especially those who have organised and led the rides, and everyone else who has helped make Edinburgh a first-class cycling community.

On this page:

Forthcoming rides

Regular weekly rides

Other bike-related events

 

Friday

7 mph
Saturday
15°
6 mph
Sunday
12°
16 mph

Sunset: 21:31

 

NEWS: Edinburgh Trams are currently carrying bikes, on a trial basis. See below under Other bike-related events for more information.


Updated yesterday

Forthcoming rides

Saturday 23rd May 2015 : Edinburgh 20-Milers Extra
The first 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. Today's ride will head out to South Queensferry, then follow the John Muir Way to Blackness, returning to town by an inland route. Much of the route will be on paths, and these may be rough and muddy in places. There will also be a couple of stretches on busy main roads and one very steep hill. Food and drink: Unlike most of the group's rides, there will be no café or pub stop at lunch time, so riders should bring food for a picnic, which will be at Blackness Castle (toilets available nearby). Meet: 10.00, at the Sustrans marker in Craigleith (if you don't know where that is, see this blog post). Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: Email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Sunday 24th May : CTC 40
A ride of about 40 miles, taken at a steady pace. These rides are aimed at cyclists who want something a little more demanding than the group's short rides but are not yet ready for their very long Wednesday or Saturday runs. There might be a café stop at some point during the day, but riders should bring food for a picnic 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).

Friday 29th May : Critical Mass
An informal evening ride around the streets of the city. Critical Mass is aimed at riders who enjoy the safety and freedom of riding in a group and those who like being part of a community of cyclists. It also aims to promote the visibility of cyclists within the city (but it's not a confrontational demo). There is no fixed route or distance. Rides go at a gentle pace, and generally last an hour or two, sometimes with the option of a drink, meal or movie afterwards. Families are welcome. Time and place: Meet at the Scottish National Gallery at the foot of the Mound, at 17.30 for an 18.00 start. Cost and booking: Free, with no need to book in advance. Just turn up. Further information: See the Critical Mass FAQ, or contact Harry Walton (email: ; phone: 07903 618515).

Sunday 31st 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: Logan Strang (0131 346 7786, ), or see the EasyCycle website.

Saturday 6th 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. This year, 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, which riders are expected to finish in eight hours. 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, aimed at riders who prefer not to try either of the longer options. There will be food and water stations offering refreshments on all three routes; those wanting something more substantial should bring their own food. The ride is non-competitive, but each rider will be individually timed, with all times being published on the Bethany website after the event. The event is limited to 450 riders. Time and place: Riders will set out at two-minute intervals between 08.00 and 10.00, from Lasswade High School, Eskdale Drive, Bonnyrigg (which is about eight miles from the centre of Edinburgh). 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: Bethany Trust website or contact Laurie Frank (phone 0131 561 8930, email ).

Saturday 6th June to Sunday 7th June : Mellow Velo Ayrshire Weekend
A weekend of cycling in Ayrshire,with an overnight stop at a B&B in Newton Stewart (cost approximately £40 per person; other accommodation is also available). There will be about 48 miles of cycling each day. Travel to and from Ayr by train. Further information: See also the Mellow Velo website.

Sunday 7th June : Two-Capitals Ride
A 21-mile charity ride from Dunfermline to Edinburgh, in aid of the Sick Kids Foundation and Kingdom Kids. This is a relatively easy ride - one which should be well within the capabilities of an averagely-fit cyclist (adult or child). The ride starts at 12.30 at Dunfermline Glen (near the town centre and rail station) and finishes at Victoria Park, Edinburgh. Transport to the start point leaves the Ocean Terminal in Leith at 11.00. Return transport to Dunfermline is available after the ride. Cost and booking: Advanced on-line registration is preferred, but registration will also be accepted on the day. £15 (£10 concessions), plus sponsorship money. Transport: £4 per bike and rider (one way). To register and for further information, contact Janet Lowe () or visit www.twocapitals.org.

Sunday 7th 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 13th June : Edinburgh to St Andrews (Lepra) Ride 2015
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 £15 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 13th 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 don't feel ready for a longer or more strenuous day out. (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 20 - 24 miles, which is 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. Lunch is usually 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 14th June : CTC 40
A ride of about 40 miles, taken at a steady pace. These rides are aimed at cyclists who want something a little more demanding than the group's short rides but are not yet ready for their very long Wednesday or Saturday runs. There might be a café stop at some point during the day, but riders should bring food for a picnic 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 14th June : Laid Back Sunday Tour
A leisurely ride from Marchmont to Silverknowes. Bring your own bike or hire one on the day. Lunch will be at the café on Silverknowes Esplanade, or bring your own food for a picnic. There will also be an opportunity to try out a trike, tandem or recumbent; this will take place at the lunch stop. Children welcome if accompanied by a responsible adult. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: The ride will leave at 10.30, from Laid Back Bikes, 28 Marchmont Crescent, returning at about 15.30. 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).

Tuesday 16th June : 'Evening at the Proms' ride
A leisurely evening ride along Edinburgh's waterfront, taking in Silverknowes, Leith and Portobello, and ending with an optional pub stop in Marchmont. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: The ride starts at 18.15, by the zig-zag ramp leading to the bike path in Russell Road. Cost and booking: Free, but numbers are limited so advanced booking is required. Email or text 07981 430159.

Friday 19th June to Saturday 20th 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 21st June : CTC Short
A moderate ride of 15 to 20 miles, lasting two to three hours, mainly on cycle paths and tracks. The group maintains a steady speed, with occasional short breaks. The ride should appeal to cyclists of average fitness. 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.

Friday 26th June : Critical Mass
An informal evening ride around the streets of the city. Critical Mass is aimed at riders who enjoy the safety and freedom of riding in a group and those who like being part of a community of cyclists. It also aims to promote the visibility of cyclists within the city (but it's not a confrontational demo). There is no fixed route or distance. Rides go at a gentle pace, and generally last an hour or two, sometimes with the option of a drink, meal or movie afterwards. Families are welcome. Time and place: Meet at the Scottish National Gallery at the foot of the Mound, at 17.30 for an 18.00 start. Cost and booking: Free, with no need to book in advance. Just turn up. Further information: See the Critical Mass FAQ, or contact Harry Walton (email: ; phone: 07903 618515).

Sunday 28th 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: Logan Strang (0131 346 7786, ), or see the EasyCycle website.

Sunday 28th June : CTC 40
A ride of about 40 miles, taken at a steady pace. These rides are aimed at cyclists who want something a little more demanding than the group's short rides but are not yet ready for their very long Wednesday or Saturday runs. There might be a café stop at some point during the day, but riders should bring food for a picnic 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 5th 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)

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Regular weekly rides

Full-day CTC rides
As well as their frequent Sunday rides (listed in the section above), CTC have longer runs every Wednesday and Saturday 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. The main contacts for these rides are Philip Rankin (0131 334 4213, ) (for the Wednesday rides) and Jessie Harrington (0795 226 6110, ) (for the Saturday rides).

CTC Tuesday evening rides
These are moderately fast rides of 20 to 25 miles, running every Tuesday from 5th May to the 1st of September, starting from the Commonwealth Pool [map] at 19.00. Most rides include a pub stop. 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).

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

Friday 1st May 2015 to Sunday 31st May 2015 : Bikes on Trams
For the whole of this month, you will be able to take your bike on Edinburgh trams, on a trial basis. Details: (i) Bikes will only be carried on off-peak services, that is, outside the hours of 07.30 - 09.30 and 16.00 - 18.30, Monday to Friday. (ii) If a tram is particularly busy, staff might ask you to wait for the next service; (iii) You should stand with your bike, and hold on to it for the entire journey; (iv) Stand in the central section of the tram, in the area indicated for disabled access; (v) Only two bikes will be allowed per tram at any given time. (vi) Wheelchairs, pushchairs and prams will have priority over bikes; (viii) Bikes will not be carried during special events; (ix) None of the above applies to folding bikes, which will continue to be carried in luggage racks as usual. Note: If you use this service, please remember that it is a trial. Be considerate to other passengers, and listen to instructions or advice from the tram staff. The tram operators will be monitoring the trial, as will tram companies in other UK cities. So let's not give them cause to think it is not working. Further information: See the Edinburgh Trams website.

Monday 1st June to Tuesday 30th June : Pedalling Past: Edinburgh's Cycling Heritage
An exhibition depicting the history of cycling in Edinburgh, with photographs and other memorabilia. Free admission. Time and place: At the Central Library, George IV Bridge, during normal library opening hours.

Thursday 11th June to Sunday 21st June : Edinburgh Festival of Cycling 2015
A ten-day series of events which, according to the organisers, will "truly celebrate the bicycle in all its forms". Now in its third year, the programme includes over 80 individual events, including family bike rides, Audax and mountain bike rides, guided tours, films, plays, workshops and talks. Details of selected events will 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.

Saturday 13th June to Sunday 14th June : Edinburgh Moonwalk 2015
An overnight "power walking" marathon in which five thousand 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 two shifts: overnight Saturday / Sunday; and early Sunday morning. You will need your own bike, should be to be reasonably fit, and ideally have a good knowledge of the area. Further information: phone 01483 741430, email , or visit the volunteers' web page.

Saturday 13th June : Bike Curious Family Workshop
A chance for parents to find out about cycling with young children. Experienced cycling families will be on hand to give practical advice and to show equipment such trailers and child seats. The event will be followed by a mass family ride around the Meadows. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: 10.00 - 12.00, at Sciennes Primary School.

Monday 15th June : Spokes Public Meeting
A meeting on the future of bike/rail integration in Scotland. This is especially relevant as Abellio takes over the Scotrail franchise, and with the imminent opening of the Borders Rail Link. This is your chance to hear about plans for accommodating bikes on trains, bike parking at stations and other ways in which cycling and rail travel can be integrated. The meeting will be chaired by Sarah Boyack MSP, with speakers from Scotrail, Transform Scotland, and others. Time and place: Augustine United Church, George IV Bridge. Coffee, stall and chat from 18.45; meeting starts at 19.30. The meeting is free and open to all. Further information: email , phone 07501 381018, or see this page on the Spokes site.

Tuesday 16th 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 (last year's winning time was 10.82 seconds). Spectators welcome. Refreshments will be served. Time and place: 18.30, at Biketrax, 11 - 13 Lochrin Place.

Wednesday 17th 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 (free maps for the first arrivals), speeches, competitions, quizzes and prizes, and, of course, the complementary hot breakfast. This is an Edinburgh Festival of Cycling event. Time and place: 07.45 to 09.45, City Chambers Quadrangle, High Street.

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