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The history of freshnlo Pedal for Scotland...

freshnlo Pedal for Scotland is not only the biggest bike ride in Scotland, it's also one of the longest running. The ride started back in 1999 with just 425 riders. Take a look back through the event's history...

PFSstart 2013


8th September, 2013: Over 12,000 cyclists took part in Scotland's biggest bike ride to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Scotland's largest mass participation bike ride.

Transport Minister Keith Brown was joined by round the world cycling superstar Mark Beaumont, STV presenters Sean Batty and Raman Bhardwaj and The Angels' Share star Paul Brannigan on the startline of the 2013 freshnlo Pedal for Scotland, in partnership with Decathlon

Over 12,000 cyclists of all abilities tackled 5 different rides which included the 47 mile Challenge Ride between Glasgow and Edinburgh, the 110 mile timed Sportive, the Edinburgh Family Ride which allowed younger cyclists and their families to join the last nine miles of the Challenge Ride route and finish in style at Murrayfield Stadium and for the first time the Aberdeen Family Ride (15th Sep).

Many participants were raising money for children and young people in Scotland affected by poverty by supporting the event's official charity partner, the STV Appeal.

The events followed on from the sell out freshnlo Pedal for Scotland Glasgow Family Ride on the 1st of September which saw an Emirates Arena enjoy a cycling-filled day.

Over £108,000 has been raised so far this year for charity partner the STV Appeal.



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9 September, 2012: A summer of cycling heroics reached its peak with over 8500 people saddling up to join Mark Beaumont and Transport Minister Keith Brown riding the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland event.

Participants rode their way through a combined distance almost equivalent to the moon and back across two events. Over 7600 cyclists of all abilities tackled the 47 mile Challenge ride between Glasgow and Edinburgh while over 800 people finished the 110 mile timed Sportive ride through the Southern Uplands which this year featured 2400m of ascent to pose an even stiffer challenge.

£750,000 has been raised for 4 year official charity partner Maggies.


2012 - UK Event Awards - Nominated for Best Sports Event



Over 14,000 cyclists of all ages and abilities got out on their bikes and joined Graeme Obree, Aggie MacKenzie and Lorraine Kelly for the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland and Sky Ride Glasgow mass participation cycling events. The Glasgow to Edinburgh ride finished at Murrayfield Stadium for the first time. freshnlo Pedal for Scotlandwon the Grand Prix and Best Sports Event at the UK Event Awards at Wembley Stadium.

£139,099 was raised for the main charity partner Maggies.


2011 - Marketing Society Star Awards - Gold Star - Best Use of Sponsorship

2011 - Scottish Event Awards - Best Sponsorship

2011 - UK Event Awards - Best Sports Event

2011 - UK Event Awards - Event Management Grand Prix





Over 9000 people cycled from Glasgow to Edinburgh in 2010's record breaking event. The 51-mile ride began at Glasgow Green and finished at Victoria Park, Edinburgh and the event won Best Sports Event, Best Event in an Outdoor Space and the Event Management Grand Prix in 2010 Scottish Event Awards. Participants included round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont, Miss Scotland Nicola Mimnagh, cyclist Graeme O'Bree, Kaye Adams and Aggie MacKenzie. 

A new 100 mile Sportive ride was added to the event with 683 taking the longer route to Edinburgh through the Southern Uplands and over 300 took part in the first family ride in Glasgow Green.

£231,789 was raised for the main charity partner Maggies.


2010 - Marketing Society Star Awards - Gold Star - Event Marketing

2010 - Marketing Society Star Awards - Gold Star - Best SME Marketing

2010 - UK Event Awards - Best Sports Event

2010 - National Outdoor Events Association, Best Scottish Event

2010 - Scottish Event Awards - Best Sports Event

2010 - Scottish Event Awards - Best Outdoor Event

2010 - Scottish Event Awards - Event Management Grand Prix 


Danny Start


Taking place on the 13th of September the 2009 event saw Cycling Scotland welcome Wiseman Dairies' semi skimmed milk brand freshnlo on board as title sponsor. freshnlo Pedal for Scotland attracted over 7,000 riders. Piper Andy Low piped the riders off from the starting point, with a little help from stunt bike sensation Danny McAskill.  Elaine Brewer, 30, from Dennistoun, was one Glaswegian who enjoyed her day in the saddle.

She said: "This was my first Pedal for Scotland event but it won't be my last.

It was pretty tough, especially the last ten miles as we came into Edinburgh.

But it was worth it and you get a real sense of achievement knowing you have cycled from one side of the country to the other."  

£233,633 was raised for the main charity partner Maggies.


2009  - Scottish Event Awards - Best Sports Event

2009  - Scottish Event Awards - Event Management Grand Prix 


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Taking place on the 14th of September the weather stayed perfect for the ride, cloudy and dry so not too hot. The event, attended by 5,700 riders, was started by Mark Beaumont who had just cycled 5000 miles around the world, "I really enjoyed taking part in the ride, talking to cyclists on route and hearing great enthusiasm about cycling from both experienced and new riders. Pedal for Scotland is a great event for the whole family and it's fantastic to see so many people taking up the challenge." 

 £145,000 was raised for Leukaemia Research.




Pedal for Scotland 2007 saw the Cabanet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Alastair Campbell start the ride at a slightly wetter than wet Glasgow Green. However, it did not stop over 4000 riders from cycling the 50 mile journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh on the 16th of September.

£138,000 was raised for Leukaemia Research and finished at Victoria Park in Edinburgh for the first time.





2700 riders took part including Nell Nelson and Tony Doyle, up a staggering 1200 from the previous year, which made the event Scotland's biggest ever mass bike ride. The cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh on Sunday, 27 August raised funds for Leukaemia Research, the official charity partner for Pedal for Scotland 2006. The event had tremendous support and was started by The First Minister. Jack McConnell commented:

"Pedal for Scotland is a great Scottish event, and it's very encouraging to see a huge increase in participants this year. The record number of cyclists taking part proves that cycling is an increasingly popular pastime as people think more about their personal health and our environment.  But it's also good to see so many people giving up their Sunday to raise money for Leukaemia Research.  I hope the fundraising will break records too."

The event was also sponsored by the Tour of Britain, T- Mobile and Marshalls Pasta and was run in conjuntion with a criterium race in George Square and the start of the Tour of Britain with Ian Aitken taking over the management of the event.

The event finished at Roseburn Park in glorious sunshine. 

£117,000 was raised for Leukaemia Research.




28th of August: Pedal for Scotland partnered with the Tour of Britain to create a cycling weekend. A criterium race took place in George Square on Friday evening with Pedal for Scotland's slightly controversial change in direction with the ride starting in Edinburgh and finishing in Glasgow.

The ride was started at Roseburn Park by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Lesley Hinds. Unfortunately this meant the record 1500 riders were cycling into the prevailing westerly wind, and so despite a great event all round, the format was changed back to Glasgow to Edinburgh forever after.

£115,000 was raised for official charity partners Barnardos and CHILDREN 1st


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The very first year that Cycling Scotland took over the event which started in George Square Glasgow and ended at Meadowbank Stadium Edinburgh on the 19th of September. The event attracted over 1060 participants and was managed by Michael Adiscott from Cycling Scotland.

£95,000 was raised for official charity partners Barnardos and CHILDREN 1st.


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Nearly 950 took part in this year's Pedal for Scotland which was held on the 14th of September. 

£90,000 was raised for official charity partners CHILDREN 1st



Approximately 900 people took part in Pedal for Scotland on the 15th of September, including 29 riders from Sun Micro Systems based in Linlithgow. Official charity partners for the event were Barnardos and  CHILDREN 1st events and volunteer manager, Laura Peacock, said: "We are thrilled to have raised so much money to help Scotland's most troubled children. CHILDREN 1st are very grateful for all of the participants who helped to raise sponsorship money in the 2002 event."

£50,000 was raised by the charity CHILDREN 1st

This was the first year that the website was created. 



The 16th of September was the date for the Pedal for Scotland 2001 which saw 1013 riders taking part, including a 16 strong team of Dutch riders who entered while on a visit to Velo-city.


£45,000 was raised for official charity partners Barnardos and CHILDREN 1st




470 people registered for the event on the 17th of September which ran from George Square to Meadowbank Stadium with a Pasta Party in Linlithgow. It was a bright but overcast day with a mild westerly wind. Transport services for riders and their bikes were supplied by First Bus and The Scottish Transport Regimental Army.

£40,000 was raised for Barnardo's(Scotland) and CHILDREN 1st who were the official charity partners.

Do you have pictures from 2000? We would love you to share them.


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The very first year for Pedal for Scotland. The event took a lot of hard work to get off the ground but due to the efforts of Gareth George who came up with the original idea, Brian Curtis, George Di Ponio and many others from the Scottish Cycling Development Project (SCDP), the very first Pedal for Scotland was born. The event began at 9am on the 19th of September under the waving flag of Lord Provost for Glasgow Walter MacLellan. George Di Ponio led 425 cyclists out of George Square Glasgow, through the Time Capsule Car Park in Coatbridge, on to Linlithgow and through the finish line at Holyrood Park. 

£60,000 was raised for 16 different official charity partners. 

Do you have pictures from 1999? We would love you to share them.



Since it began!!!

In over 15 years of Pedal for Scotland official charity partners have raised over £1.75 million for their respective causes.

Have you taken the challenge?

Register for 2014 now to reserve your space in Scotland's largest cycling event.

 UKEvent Awards 2012


Scottish Event Awards 2012

Best Sports Event - Pedal for Scotland

UK Event Awards 2011

Grand Prix Winner - Cycling Scotland

Best Sports Event - Pedal for Scotland

Marketing Society Awards 2011

Brand Activation and Event Marketing - Bronze

PR and Sponsorship - Gold 

UK Event Awards 2010

Best Sports Event

Scottish Event Awards 2010

Best Sports Event
Best Event in an Outdoor Space
Event Management Grand Prix


Want to share your experience?

We would like to hear from past participants. You can email us!



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