Summer Cycle‘SPecial

Kings of the road

You can shed the pounds while raising the pounds. but do you have the stamina for a charity run? Words: Tim Dawson and Richard Moore

Being part of the great swoosh that cycles along Princess Street at the start of its 60-mile journey to St Andrews every June is an incomparable feeling. Over a thousand cyclists usually start the 22-year-old charity ride. And thanks to the magical momentum that being part of a big ride creates, even those who have not been near a bike for years generally finish.

Edinburgh-St Andrews this year on Saturday 24 June - might be Scotland‘s oldest big charity ride, but there are plenty more opportunities to test your stamina in a good cause. But even if your initial motivation is to raise funds for one of the charities that run these events, it is for the fun of the ride that you will want to go back for is a positive delight to feel, with your two-wheeled companions, that you are king of the road, if only for a day.

The pretender to Edinburgh-St Andrews crown as Scotland’s premier mass participation ride is Pedal for Scotland’s Glasgow-Edinburgh run on 17 September. Its organisers promise that the prevailing direction of the wind, west to east, ensures that participants will be naturally assisted in their journey. It did not work out last year, when the field battled against a howling gale from the east, but this year the weather gods will surely be smiling.

Or how about something more exotic? Most of the big charities are now organising treks all over the world. Sarah Richards, from Glasgow, recently cycled the length of Cuba in aid of Guide Dogs For The Blind, and has nothing but positive things to say about the whole experience. ’I didn’t want to go to Cuba as a tourist, I wanted something different,’ she says. ’It was exciting and worthwhile, the people were wonderful and the whole thing was very, very well organised. I certainly wasn't disappointed, and I raised around £1,500 for the charity.’

She continues: 'People came into it either through a commitment to the visually impaired or, like me, because of the venue. Most were reasonably fit, but not necessarily cyclists. Two women had only bought their first bikes in July, and one left her bike behind. She never had any intention of taking it home with her; that was her contribution!’

I Bike To The Future Glasgow, 14 and 39 miles mainly off road in aid of Friends Of The Earth Sun 11 Jun. Info 0131 554 9977 or mlang@for-scotlandorguk

I The Jubilee 2000 Round Scotland Bike Ride Arrives lt1 Glasgow's Hapden Park Stadium on Sun 11 Jun, havmg set off from Orkney, by way of the Borders, on 27 May A core team of twelve cyclists will complete the 762 mile run With other riders Joming n for local stretches. Info 0131 225 4321 or j20008cot@NetworkTeam net


Bike Ride To The With a name like The Dukes Of Stratosphear, you know this kind of thing was probably done most afternoons when the telly was crap and they needed a bit of Interstellar exerCise.

This Charming Man 'Punctured bicycles on a hillSide desolate/ Will nature make a man of me yet?’ That Morrisey fella knew how to enjoy a good bike ride. Hard to enVisage The Smiths man rattling downhill on his mountain bike gladioli in pocket, shirt open to the waist though.

Bike 'I’ve got a bike/you can ride it if you like,' sang Pink Floyd, the genial, generous men of

Bikes in Music

spaced out 70s tosh. Tour De France They may be German but those cra7y electro- pioneers Kraftwerk dug a good cycle race. Their tribute to that race of races was much like the real thing; it it was very long and by the end of it everone was very tired buthappy

Peloton The Delgados named their second album after the French word for the main group of riders in a race. The Glasgow quartet's debut Domest/ques is named after riders in a bike race who are responsible for the general upkeep and welfare of the cycle team during a race. Trainspotters one and all. (Mark Robertson)

the pedal. Unable to get up off of the ceiling, these chemical ' . explorers discarded traditional modes of travel in favour of astral mind travel or some equally

I The Longest Ride Not exactly a charity ride, but a celebration of the opening of the National Cycle Network dozens of events all over Scotland. Wed 21 Jun. Info 01506 614302 or

I Central Scotland Cycle Challenge 30-mile gurded there-and-back ride starting in either Airdrie or Bathgate. Sun 17 Jun, Info: 0131 623 7600.

I Edinburgh—St Andrews Sat 24 Jun. Info: 01968 682369

I Biking For Barnardos 9 and 24 miles around Blair Atholl in Perthshire. Sun 3 Sep. Info: 0131 314 6654.

I Pedal For Scotland Glasgow—Edinburgh ‘30 miles. 17 Sep Info: 01483 417217.

I International fundraising charities Gurde Dogs for the Blind 01539 735080, Sense 0171 272 7774; National AssOCiation for Deaf Children 0171 250 1337.

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