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

 

Saturday
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Sunday

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Sunset: 20:25

 


Updated yesterday

Forthcoming rides

Friday 24th April 2015 : 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 25th April to Sunday 26th April : Mellow Velo North Pennines Weekend
A weekend of cycling in the upper Eden Valley and the north east corner of the Lake District,with an overnight stop at Kirkby Stephen Youth Hostel (cost £20 per person). There will be about 40 miles of cycling each day, mainly on undulating terrain but with a few steep climbs. Travel to and from Penrith by train (suggested train leaves Waverley at 08.12 on the Saturday; leaves Penrith 17.53 on the Sunday). Riders are responsible for booking their own travel. Further information: See also the Mellow Velo website.

Sunday 26th April : 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 26th 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).

Sunday 3rd 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 5th May : CTC Evening Ride
The first of this summer's CTC Tuesday evening runs. These are sociable rides of 20 to 25 miles, and will go at a moderate 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 1st September. Meet: 19.00, at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Dalkeith Road [map]. 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 Alastair Sim (, 0777 898 2265), or see the CTC Lothians website. 

Saturday 9th 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 - 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 10th 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 13th May to Sunday 17th May : 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:  See the event's web page, or contact the organisers by email () or phone (0131 551 1381).

Saturday 16th May to Sunday 17th May : 20-Milers Peebles Weekend
A two-day ride from Edinburgh, with an overnight stop in Peebles. On the Saturday, the group will cycle to Peebles via the Gladhouse Reservoir, Eddleston, the Meldons and Lyne Station. The return route on the Sunday will be by way of Innerleithen and Middleton. The distance will be about 40 miles each day, which will be taken at a moderate, unpressured pace. Accommodation: Riders should arrange their own accommodation in Peebles (the group will meet up for an evening meal). Booking and further information: Please contact Glenn Brearley, For general information about the group, see the 20-Milers Blog.

Saturday 23rd May : 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. 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]. 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 ).

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.

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.

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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).

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

Saturday 25th April 2015 : Pedal on Parliament 2015
Now in its fourth 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 Kirkcaldy, Glasgow, and various points within Edinburgh. Timetable: Cyclists are asked to gather at the Meadows at 11.30. The ride will start at noon with 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.

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