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 of charge 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 you. Choose an event that's appropriate for your experience and level of fitness, and enjoy a great day out.

On this page:

Forthcoming rides

Regular weekly rides

Other bike-related events

 

 


Regular weekly rides

Full-day CTC rides
As well as their frequent Sunday rides (listed in the main part of this page), 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 from early May to the end of August, starting from the Commonwealth Pool [map] at 19.00. Most rides include a pub stop. Lights are essential. No need to book: just turn up.

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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Forthcoming rides

Friday 25th April 2014 : 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).

Saturday 26th April : EasyCycle Bonus Ride / PoP Feeder
A very short ride of about 5 miles, linking up with Pedal on Parliament (PoP). The ride will be taken at the group's usual gentle pace, and will avoid busy roads and steep hills (but there might be a couple of short sections on rough paths). The ride will last about 1¼ hours, ending at about 11.45 at the Meadows, in time for riders to join PoP if they wish. Time and place: The ride will leave at 10.30 sharp, from the Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Lanark Road [map]. Cost and booking: Free. No need to book; just turn up. Further information: Logan Strang (0131 346 7786, ), or see the EasyCycle website. For more details of PoP, see below under 'Other bike-related events'.

Saturday 26th April to Sunday 27th April : Solway to Forth weekend ride
A two-day ride to mark the opening of a new coast-to-coast cycle route. Transport from Edinburgh to Annan will be provided for riders and bikes. Riders will then cycle back to Edinburgh via Moffat, the Devils Beef Tub, Broughton, Innerleithen and the Moorfoots, with an overnight stop at Peebles. The exact route has not yet been finalised, but it's likely to include a mix of roads and tracks, with several steep climbs, and a total distance of 100 - 120 miles (approximate estimate). Participants will be responsible for their own overnight accommodation and meals, which are not included in the price. Cost: £75 per person, or £50 if you make your own way to Annan (which is approximately two hours by train from Edinburgh via Carlisle). Further information and booking: Advance booking is essential. Contact David Gray (phone: 01207 502388, email: ), or see the event's web page.

Sunday 27th April : 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).

Saturday 3rd May : Edinburgh 20-Milers - John Muir Way Inaugural Ride
A 34-mile ride to mark the opening of the John Muir Way, a new coast-to-coast walking and cycling route from Dunbar to Helensburgh. The ride, which is organised in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage, will head out along the coastal path from Edinburgh to Blackness, returning by an inland route. It will be a little longer than the group's usual outings, and will go at a slightly faster pace. The route includes a couple of short stretches on a main road, a few sections on paths which might be rough or muddy, and one fairly steep hill. The ride should end mid to late afternoon. 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). Depending on progress, there might be a café stop near the end. Meet: 10.00, at the Sustrans marker on the Roseburn path, by the three-way junction with the Blackhall and Telford paths (this is near the Sainsbury's petrol station in S. Groathill Ave.) [map]. Please note the earlier start time and the non-standard meeting place. Cost and booking: Free; just turn up. Further information: More details of this ride can be found on the 20-Milers blog, or contact Mike Lewis (0131 343 2520) or Livia Dyckhoff (0131 337 1315), or email

Sunday 4th May : 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)

Tuesday 6th May : CTC Evening Ride
The first of this summer's CTC Tuesday evening runs. These rides are between 20 and 25 miles, and will go at a moderately fast pace, with the possibility of a short pub stop on the way back. Most rides end around 22.00, or shortly after dark if earlier (be sure to bring lights). These rides will take place every Tuesday evening until the end of August. Meet: 19.00, at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Dalkeith Road. Cost and booking: The ride is free and open to all, but those attending more than a few CTC rides will be asked to join; membership information will be available on the night. Further information: Contact details will be posted here if and when avaiable, or see the CTC Lothians website. 

Saturday 10th May : 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 miles or so 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 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: Details of today's route will be posted 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: Mike Lewis (0131 343 2520) or Livia Dyckhoff (0131 337 1315), or email See also the 20-Milers Blog.

Sunday 11th 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).

Saturday 17th May : Mellow Velo Falkirk Ride
A day ride, taking in Linlithgow, Bo'ness, the Kinneil Estate and the Falkirk Wheel. Most of the route will be on the canal towpath or quiet roads, with just a few gentle hills. Lunch will be at the café at the Bo'Ness & Kinneil steam railway station, or bring a picnic of you prefer. Meet: 10.30, for an 11.00 start, at Park Bistro. This is on the Union Canal, about two miles east of Linlithgow. Trains to Linlithgow leave Waverley roughly evey 15 minutes, with a 20-minute journey time. Further information: See also the Mellow Velo website.

Friday 23rd May to Sunday 25th May : Mellow Velo Caingorm Weekend
A weekend of cycling in the Cairngorms and Speyside, based on Cairngorm Lodge Youth Hostel (about six miles [steep uphill] from Aviemore station, which is about three hours by train from Edinburgh). Saturday's ride will be a 28-mile circuit of the Abernethy Forest and the Ryvoan Pass, taking in the Loch Garten Osprey Centre; this ride is almost completely off-road. On Sunday, there will be a short ride to Loch an Eilein, mainly on forest paths. Riders should book there own hostel accommodation. Bike hire is available. Further information: See also the Mellow Velo website.

Sunday 25th 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).

Wednesday 28th May to Sunday 1st June : St. Columba's Celtic Challenge
A 200-mile charity ride from Edinburgh to Iona, in aid of St. Columba's Hospice. The registration fee includes four nights accommodation, all meals and refreshments, all ferry fares, the services of tour guides and support vehicles, and return transport to Edinburgh at the end of the ride. Cost: £150 per person, plus a suggested sponsorship target of £1,200. Registration and further information: Download a registration form or contact the organisers by email () or phone (0131 551 1318). Note that the registration deadline is 25 April 2014.

Friday 30th 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).

Saturday 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: Details of today's meeting place will appear here nearer the time.  Cost and booking: Free. No need to book; just turn up. Further information: Logan Strang (0131 346 7786, ), or see the EasyCycle website.

Sunday 1st 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 7th June : Bethany Sportive
An event for "serious amateur" cyclists, to raise funds to help homeless and vulnerable people. The main route is a 102-mile circuit of the Scottish Borders, taking in the Moorfoot Hills, Selkirk and the River Tweed and Gala Water valleys. This is a demanding route, with 8,000 feet of ascent, which riders are expected to finish in eight hours. A (slightly) less challenging 72-mile option is also available. There will be food and water stations offering refreshments along the way; 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. 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: £30 entry fee, plus sponsorship money. 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 phone Hannah Biddulph (0131 561 8925) or email

Saturday 14th June : Edinburgh to St Andrews (Lepra) Ride 2014
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 (on the Saturday evening or Sunday morning) is £14 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.

Sunday 7th September : Pedal for Scotland (Glasgow to Edinbugh) 2014
Scotland's largest charity bike ride, in aid of children's charity, STV Appeal. The date of this year's event has now been confirmed. Full informatoin will appear here as it becomes available; or phone 0141 348 7998, email , or visit the Pedal for Scotland website.

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Other bike-related events

Thursday 17th April 2014 to Saturday 26th April 2014 : John Muir Festival
A programme of events to mark the launch of the John Muir Way, a new 134-mile walking and cycling route which runs from Dunbar to Helensburgh. The Festival is part of the Homecoming Scotland programme. Alex Salmond will officially open the Way in Dunbar on 21 April; this event will include music, performances, celebratory art and food stalls. Other events include a coast-to-coast flag relay for walkers, runners and cyclists; a night-time outdoor pyrotechnics and arts event; the launch of the Kelpies in Helix Park, Falkirk; and an outdoor finale of music, art, street theatre and fireworks on 26 April by Loch Lomond. There will also be many community-led local events, including walks and bike rides (for details of Edinburgh 20-Milers' ride to Blackness on 3rd May, see above ). Cost and booking: Most of the events are free and open to all, with no need to book. Further information: John Muir Festival website, or contact the organisers, UZ Arts (0141 559 4910 or ).

Saturday 26th April : Pedal on Parliament 2014
Now in its third year, this is a highly popular (and fun) event, in which thousands of cyclists demonstrate to politicians that we need safer roads and better facilities for cycling (4,000 cyclists took part in last year's event). This is a light-hearted family-friendly event, not a confrontational-style demo. Route: The ride will start from the Meadows and will go via George IV Bridge and the Royal Mile to Holyrood. Most of the route will be closed to motor vehicles for the event. The distance is about one and half miles, which will be taken at a slow, leisurely pace. Feeder rides: From Lanark Road, Braidburn Valley Park, Portobello, South Queensferry, Kirkcaldy, Glasgow, and possibly other points. Timetable: Cyclists are asked to gather at the Meadows at 11.30. The ride will start at noon with a minute silence to remember those killed on our roads; this will be followed by a mass bell-ringing. The event will end with a rally at the Parliament. What to bring: (i) Your bike (but walkers are also welcome); (ii) a bell, hooter or other noisy device - see above; (iii) A lock (you will be asked to park your bike in a reserved area at the Parliament); (iv) Placards, signs, balloons, flags, pennants, or anything else to draw attention to the ride and make the day more colourful . Further information: Visit the Pedal on Parliament website, which also includes the organisers' "manifesto" and arrangements for the feeder rides.

Friday 23rd May to Monday 26th May : CTC Lothians and Borders Rally
CTC members from throughout the UK are invited to this four-day event, hosted by the Lothian and Borders group. Rides of 20, 40 and 60 miles will be organised for the Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with social events in the evenings (cheese and wine party, quiz, film show, ceilidh). There will also be opportunities for mountain biking in the nearby Braid Hill and Pentand Hills. The event is based at the Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park, on the southern outskirts of Edinburgh. Local CTC members are welcome to join the rides at no cost. Cost: £18 per peson (£12 for children), excluding meals and accommodation. Further information and booking: An information sheet and booking form are available from Peter Valente (phone:0131 334 1786; email: ).

Saturday 7th June to Sunday 8th June : Edinburgh Moonwalk 2014
An overnight "power walking" marathon in which more than ten 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, nearly £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: 23.00 (Saturday) to 06.00; and 05.30 (Sunday) to 11.00. You will need to be reasonably fit, and will ideally to have a good knowledge of the area. Further information: phone 01483 741430, email , or visit the volunteers' web page.

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