With so many cycling events being organised all over the country, you’re spoiled for choice. To help you choose the events that might suit you best, here’s our pick of the crop, based on the events we support along with rides that Bike Co-op members have really enjoyed and would recommend to our friends.
3 Pistes Cycle Sportive – The Highlands
One of this country’s toughest one-day cycling events, this 102 mile/162 km sportive takes up three ski roads: Glenshee, The Lecht and Cairngorm. The refreshing disclaimer goes:
We don’t do lots of flags or banners or branding, goody bags, free t-shirts, free bidons, flyers for charities or people trying to sell you stuff… in-fact any free promotional crap you don’t need or want.
You will NOT get a medal. You are a grown adult and probably experienced cyclist. Medals are for 5k fun runners or people who finish top three in a proper race.
We spend your money giving you a damn good day with great feed stops, lots of assistance and a massive party at the top of Cairngorm.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup – Fort William
Famed for its unique buzz and its sublime location, Fort Bill is the place to watch the world’s best downhill mountain bikers in action – and maybe have a beer with them in the evening.
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL OF CYCLING (EdFoc)
EdFoc is an 11-day annual festival of all things cycling in Edinburgh so, naturally, we have sponsored it since its launch in 2013 – and not just because it’s based in our home city. Active Traveller rated it one of the top ten cycling festivals in Europe! Check the EdFoc website for the full programme which should be finalised by late March.
SPOKES BIKE BREAKFAST
Thursday 15 June 2017 in Edinburgh
This is perhaps the least taxing cycling event you can attend but it’s none the worse for that. Here’s what happens. You cycle to Edinburgh City Chambers between 7:45 and 9:15. The council will reward you with a free breakfast, while a squad of Bike Co-op staff will be on hand offering our free bike chain lube and clean service.
The Spokes Bike Breakfast is part of EdFoc – the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling. If you’re a regular, please note the date change. The Bike Breakfast is on a Thursday this year, not on a Wednesday as it has always been in the past.
Tour de Forth Sportive
Supported by Radio Forth 97.3FM, this 97.3km ride begins and ends at Ingliston. The route follows an intriguing loop that takes you across the Forth Road Bridge to join the Fife coastal path west to Kincardine, then over the bridge and east to catch the tail wind (fingers crossed) back to Edinburgh.
Funds raised go to two Edinburgh-based charities, MercyCorps, who have been doing amazing work supporting hundreds of thousands of displaced families in Syria since 2012, and Cash for Kids.
Eroica Brittania, Peak District
Whilst the Peak District-based Eroica is best known for its famous Sunday ride, which is restricted to cyclists on pre-1987 bikes, Bike Co-op people who attended the 2015 event said it was one of the best 3-day festivals (cycling or otherwise) they had ever attended.
EDINBURGH – ST ANDREWS LEPRA RIDE
Now in its 37th year, Edinburgh to St Andrews is Scotland’s longest-established annual charity ride for good reasons. It’s a really good bike ride through some lovely countryside for the great cause of raising money for Lepra.
We’re proud to have laid on mechanical support for this ride since its inception in 1981. If you would like to read an impartial account of the 109 km / 68 mile Lepra ride, read this review by Mike Lewis, a regular Edinburgh – St Andrews rider.
Mike makes the point that, like the Wooler Wheel and the Tour O The Borders, the Lepra ride stands out for its exceptional food stops. You’ll think you’ve gone back in time 50 years (in a good way) when you’re charged so little by the Kinross Round Table to enjoy their soup and sandwiches, or the superb home baking laid on by the Women’s Institute at Freuchie. (Just don’t ask for an espresso to wash it down. You’ll have a cup of tea.)
Last but not least, unlike many so-called charity rides, ALL the money raised, including the £20 booking fee, goes to Lepra. Register for the ride by 31 May and this fee is reduced to £15.
The Edinburgh – St Andrews Ride is part of EdFoc – the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
MUCMEDDEN ELIMINATOR MTB WEEKENDER
Described by Enduro Mountainbike Magazine as ‘Delightfully Unique and Riotous Fun!’ and subtitled Scotland’s Family Friendly Mountain Bike Festival, Eliminator is a unique event based in Newburgh, Fife, offering enduro racing, camping, kids’ races, a beer festival, a bouncy castle, a farmers’ market, glamping, a water slide and more.
GREAT NORTH BIKE RIDE
Like the 17 June Lepra Ride, the GNBR (Great North Bike Ride) is a go-at-your-own-pace charity ride for a great cause – this time, the Chris Lucas Trust for research into cures for childhood cancers.
Much of the 91km / 57 mile route straddles the lovely Northumberland coastline from Seahouses to Tynemouth, so a great day out is pretty much guaranteed, backed up with the free mechanical assistance we’ve been offering on every GNBR since we took over our Newcastle shop in 2003.
MUCKMEDDEN FORFAR FUNDURO
We’ll leave the Mucmedden mountain bike massive to describe their Funduro in their own words.
‘Funduro is a word invented specifically for this course as there is no other word that better describes it. The trails at Forfar Funduro are such a great laugh you will reach the bottom of each stage gagging to ride them again and the course is compact enough that you’ll get to ride each stage twice and get your flow on! Lucky Muckers…’
TOUR O’ THE BORDERS SPORTIVE
Friendly atmosphere. Seamless organisation. A route that is consistently bonnie and frequently stunning. A ride that has a sense of occasion without being too huge and intimidating. Legendary Forsyth of Peebles veggie macaroni pies at the food stops. There’s a growing consensus that Touro (as it’s affectionately known) is Scotland’s most enjoyable closed-road sportive.
As part of our support for Touro, if you sign up for it your name will be automatically entered into a prize draw we are running each month up to August 2017 to win a £100 Bike Co-op gift voucher.
Tour of the Borders is the final event of the year from Tweedlove – the lovely people who are putting on dozens of rides from March through to September. Tweedlove are clearly on a mission to make the lovely town of Peebles the bicycling centre of Britain. See Tweedlove’s whole programme.
WOOLER WHEEL CLASSIC SPORTIVE
A beautiful 100km circuit of Glendale in the north of Northumberland, with a 50 km option, this is called the WW Classic because it follows pretty much the inspired original sportive route Wooler Wheel mapped out in 2013.
Although it’s not a closed road event, the Wooler Wheel Classic has a similar vibe (without the additional cost) thanks to the route being so traffic lite.
Almost as important, given how we cyclists fuel our rides, the WW Classic features the same Great Northumberland Bread Company flapjack food stops and gourmet meat pie / vegetarian lasagne / mushy peas finish as 13 May’s WW Borderlands.
MUCKMEDDEN FAIR CITY ENDURO
Because it’s close to Halloween you’ll be encouraged to participate in this Perth-based event in fancy dress.
‘The only enduro in the world where you can see a penguin throw down some tailwhips.’ Enduro MTB Mag. Read on.
MUCKMEDDEN FALKIRK FUNDURO
Making full use of the trails created on Callendar Estate over the past few years this special event for younger riders includes a balance bike ride for kids under 6 and a Mini Funduro for kids between 6 and 11, which Muckmedden described as follows:
‘With chip-timing and four timed stages on flowing trails (suitable for 16″+ wheels) this is undoubtedly THE most fun your child will ever have at a bike race. Each timed stage is connected by an untimed transition and parents can chaperone their kids around the course if they wish.’