Scotland takes its cycling seriously. And that only makes sense for the land of blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan, born and raised in Dumfries and Galloway, who invented the pedal-driven bicycle. Hopping on a bike is one of the greatest ways to explore the country from north to south. Scotland is therefore a dream come true for professional and amateur cyclists alike. The country may boast no prestigious race to rival the Tour de France or the Giro. Still, tremendous events are held throughout the year. While the Tour of Britain won’t visit Scotland in 2023, the coming year looks to be an exciting time for bike lovers nonetheless. So, from world championships to sportives, here are a few events not to miss.
Tour de Forth
Sports can be an extraordinary means of coming together for the greater good. And the Tour de Forth is a perfect example of that giving spirit. A charity fundraising sportive, Tour de Forth raises funds for local charity Cash for Kids. The event features two distinct routes for bikers willing to make a change pedalling. A classic route starts west of Edinburg and circles around the River Forth, spanning 68 miles/109km. The Nouveau, on the other hand, is a shorter 36 miles/58 km route by the River Forth and back to RBS Gogarburn.
The next tour will kick off on Sunday, 11 June. Paying a small standard fee, participants can enter the race by registering on the British Cycling website.
The Bealach Mor is arguably one of the most scenic rides in Scotland. Running for 90 miles through the grandiose Highlands, this event is also particularly challenging as the route takes riders on the steepest and toughest hill climb there is in the UK. Of course, bikers can take comfort in the splendour of the rugged cliffs and mesmerising lochs all around glens Docherty and Carron. The route also graces its participants with an astonishing view of the Isle of Skye before branching off through the Applecross peninsula and all the way back to Kinlochewe. If you’re planning a Scottish trip, come 9th September, you might as well watch the epic Bealach Mor.
UCI Cycling World Championships
A massive event is coming to Scotland for the first time in 2023, as Glasgow gears up for hosting the UCI Cycling World Championships. Combining all thirteen world championships into one, these championships will be nothing less than the biggest cycling event ever. From BMX freestyle flatland to indoor cycling and para-cycling tracks, competition events will mix with medal events. And this championship of pharaonic proportions will start on Thursday, 3 August to wrap up on Sunday, 13 August. So, who will lift the most trophies? Punters can check out top betting hubs like SBO to start placing their bets. Expert bettors have reviewed the best online bookies offering betting options on cycling, among other popular sports. First-timers may even find free tips and tricks to improve their betting strategies. Better yet, lofty bonuses and free bets await on the most profitable sportsbooks.
Chain Reaction Tweedlove Bike Festival
Bike lovers, rejoice, for one of the biggest bike festivals in Scotland is coming back in 2023. The latest edition celebrated its twelfth anniversary in stylish fashion around the Scottish Borders, and next year’s programme is bound to be as eclectic. Riders may thus have a blast on the greatest rides of the Tweed Valley while on-lookers cheer them out. But spectators might as well sip a local brew at the festival bar or take a bite at a street food stall. The festival also offers an array of family-friendly activities, including an outdoor kids’ cinema night. So, book your schedule on 29 and 30 April to join in on the fun.
Ballater inaugurated its first bike festival last year with a long weekend of entertainment for bikers and amateur riders. And Thrive Bike returns in 2023 with a splash. Cycling events, demo rides from established brands, guided mountain bike rides to get non-bikers back on the saddle, you name it. The festival even caters to families with a children’s play area boasting stunt shows and sender ramps, amongst other fun-filled activities. Besides, all proceeds directly go to the local trail network and the Aberdeen Trail Association alongside a number of sanctioned projects. While the exact schedule is yet to be disclosed, this free event will likely take place sometime in September.