Cycling Scotland Announces Last Ride for Pedal for Scotland’s Glasgow-Edinburgh Classic Challenge Event


Pedal for Scotland is set to evolve into inclusive, free, local events across Scotland from 2020. With a legacy spanning twenty years, the Classic Challenge has inspired tens of thousands to get on their bikes


After 20 years, Sunday September 8 2019 will mark the last Pedal for Scotland Classic Challenge, Big Belter and Wee Jaunt Linlithgow-Edinburgh bike rides, it was announced today (June 26 2019).

The only closed-road cycle between Scotland’s two biggest cities, Pedal for Scotland has more than achieved its goals: encouraging more people to cycle, raising the profile of cycling in Scotland and providing a platform for raising millions of pounds for good causes.

Organised by Cycling Scotland, the Glasgow-Edinburgh ride was one of the first non-profit, mass participation cycling events in Scotland. Four-hundred-and-twenty-five people lined up on the start line in 1999, now around 7,000 people take part in the event each year.

Pedal for Scotland has grown to encompass three different events in recent years: the Classic Challenge Glasgow-to-Edinburgh ride, the Big Belter (a 100-mile sportive) and a 10-mile Wee Jaunt between Linlithgow and Edinburgh. More than 100,000 people have taken part in all events since 1999.

2019 marks the final chance for people in Scotland and beyond to ride in the Classic Challenge, Big Belter and Linlithgow-Edinburgh rides. From 2020, Pedal for Scotland will evolve into shorter, local and free events in an effort to help more people enjoy cycling, regardless of income.

These events will build on the success of the Pedal for Scotland family-friendly Wee Jaunt bike rides. Cycling Scotland will soon release details of how communities and councils can register their interest in hosting these events.

“After 20 years, now feels like the right time to take a new, community-focussed, Scotland-wide, approach to encourage bike-riding and remove barriers to taking part in cycling events.

“There are many more cycling events now than when Pedal for Scotland began in 1999 and that is an important part of its legacy. Pedal for Scotland has inspired tens of thousands of people in Scotland to cycle, as well as paving the way for cycling events to become more mainstream.

“We are now looking forward to the next stage: supporting shorter, inclusive and free events across the nation to extend the benefits into more communities in every part of Scotland, helping increase the use of the newly emerging cycling infrastructure in many places.”

Keith Irving, Cheif Executive, Cycling Scotland

Since 1999, the Pedal for Scotland Glasgow-Edinburgh ride has created a legacy for cycling in Scotland including:


  • Health impact: thousands of people have been inspired to take up cycling or cycle more often in training for the event.
  • Charity fundraising: participants have raised millions of pounds for good causes, most recently tackling child poverty.
  • Economic impact: an annual economic impact of £1 million.
  • Funding impact: large amounts of value-in-kind and sponsorship to the sector, for example advertising on STV that helped to promote cycling nationally.
  • Diversity of participants: people of all ages and abilities have pedalled for Scotland, including celebrities, Government Ministers, refugees and charity fundraisers.
  • Inspiring cycling events: across Scotland there are now more mass participation cycling events of different types with greater public awareness than ever before.


Keith Irving added:

“We would like to thank everyone who has made it possible for us to run the Pedal for Scotland Glasgow-to-Edinburgh ride over the last 20 years, including our main grant funder, Transport Scotland, our sponsors, charity partners and supporters.

“We’d also like to thank the many communities and volunteers who have supported the Classic Challenge over the years.

“Lastly, we’d like to thank every person who has pedalled for Scotland over the years. We’d love you to join us for one last Pedal for Scotland Glasgow-to-Edinburgh or Linlithgow-Edinburgh closed-road ride in early September.”

Pedal for Scotland sees three events take place in Scotland’s central belt on the same day, Sunday September 8.


  1. Thousands of people from Scotland and beyond will ride the 45-mile closed-road Classic Challenge between Glasgow and Edinburgh. This is the only time people on bikes can cycle between Scotland’s two main cities on roads without other traffic.
  2. There’s a 100-mile Big Belter sportive starting in Glasgow and finishing in Edinburgh for riders who want to challenge themselves.
  3. And the 10-mile Linlithgow–Edinburgh Wee Jaunt for riders of all abilities, again on closed roads.

To find out more about Pedal for Scotland and sign up for this year’s Classic Challenge and Big Belter finales on Sunday September 8, go to

Notes to Editors

For more information contact the Communications Team at Pedal Scotland:  


Denise Hamilton, Head of Communications

0141 229 5440 / 07885 912003

About Scottish Canals

Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Union, Monkland, Forth & Clyde, Crinan and Caledonian Canals. As well as the waterways themselves, Scottish Canals care for bridges, buildings, locks, The Falkirk Wheel, The Kelpies and water supply reservoirs in locations across Scotland. The reservoirs cover an area equivalent to 7,494 football pitches and supply the canals with the 332 million litres of water which flow through them each day.

The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles. The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22million visits per year.

For more information, visit or follow @ScottishCanals on Twitter.

About Pedal for Scotland

Established in 1999 by Cycling Scotland, Pedal for Scotland was set up as a non-profit event to get more people cycling and to provide a platform for charity fundraising.


About Cycling Scotland

Cycling Scotland is the nation’s cycling organisation. Working in partnership with other organisations, with funding from Transport Scotland, it helps create an environment for everyone in Scotland to cycle easily and safely. Their vision is of a sustainable, inclusive and healthy Scotland where anyone, anywhere can enjoy all the benefits of cycling. For more information please visit

Cycling Scotland is a Scottish Charity, SC029760, regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Cycling Scotland’s organisational values are:

  • Collaborative.
  • Inclusive.
  • Professional & evidence-driven.
  • Ambitious.
  • Sustainable.

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