Cycling groups herald launch as celebration of the cycling community in Glasgow

Published on
May 9, 2024

Community cycling clubs from across Glasgow came together ahead of Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle to celebrate a new community celebration of cycling in the city.

On Sunday 9 June, one month from today, the new free cycling event will allow people of all ages and abilities a unique opportunity to cycle on traffic-free roads through the heart of Glasgow, past the historic Glasgow Green, Merchant City and George Square, among others.

Yesterday [Wednesday 8 May], members of the local cycling community and Scottish Disability Sport, as well as representatives from Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life, marked one month to go until the event at George Square. The square will host one of two Festival Zones, and will feature a range of spectacular activities, from bike stunt shows and street performances to cycle skills training and inclusive open cycle sessions.

The new event has also been heralded by Glasgow cycling royalty Katie Archibald, with the double Olympic champion praising the city as the ideal spot to host an event to inspire increased participation in cycling.

“As someone who knows the roads of Glasgow extremely well, I am excited that the people of the city are going to be able to enjoy them on the traffic-free route at Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle,” said Archibald, who is currently preparing for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Cycling is great for the body and mind and the more people we can get on two wheels the better – and there is no better place than Glasgow for that.”

Glasgow Life Chair and City Convener for Culture, Sport and International Relations, Bailie Annette Christie, said: “We’re committed to encouraging and enabling people to get on a bike for recreation, sport and travel so they can enjoy the many benefits to physical and mental health. In addition to the city’s excellent infrastructure and world-class facilities, Glasgow’s fantastic cycling hubs, clubs and projects support people – regardless of their background, age and abilities – to make cycling part of their lives. And the incredible success of the UCI Cycling World Championships has helped us create a lasting legacy that ensures our communities continue to be inspired and involved in cycling.

“We’re therefore delighted the city is hosting the Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle and hope as many people as possible will sign up to get involved in what promises to be a fantastic free, fun event celebrating The Power of The Bike.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of organisers London Marathon Events, said: “Just a month away from Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle, the excitement is building and it is great that so many of those community groups who are the heartbeat of the cycling scene in Glasgow are looking forward to the day. This event builds on an already proud cycling heritage in Glasgow, and the legacy of the UCI Cycling World Championships last year which showed the city off at its very best. There is no better way to see the city than on your bike, on traffic-free roads with your family, friends, or by yourself.”

Theresa Campbell, Vice-Chair of Scottish Disability Sport, who attended with Peter McGuire, former Paralympic boccia player, said: “I am delighted to support the Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle event. From an early stage in planning, the organisers have been committed to ensuring everyone will have the opportunity to safely cycle the streets of Glasgow. People with disabilities from across Scotland will be able to try out adaptive bikes in a supportive and welcoming environment and to enjoy the freedom of traffic-free cycling."

A number of community groups attended George Square to mark the countdown to Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle. The event builds on Glasgow City Council’s pledge to create a bike-friendly city and Glasgow Life’s activities to support people of all ages to enjoy the benefits of cycling. And, less than one year on from the UCI Cycling World Championships, the cycling clubs said they were excited to see cycling continue to grow in Glasgow.

John Bachtler, Chairperson of Clyde Cycle Park, said: “Glasgow City Council is transforming the opportunities for cycling and active travel not just in the city but the wider Glasgow region, demonstrating what is possible to other local authorities. For projects like Clyde Cycle Park in Cambuslang, we can see that the investment is encouraging more people to recognise the potential of cycling and to get on their bikes for journeys to work, the shops and leisure. We hope that this new event will continue to realise the possibilities of cycling, and we are excited for another day where we can all get together to celebrate it.”

Carol Thompson, Project Manager at Sunny Cycles, said: “It is often the case that people don’t feel safe cycling on roads because of the danger posed by cars. Having traffic-free roads during Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle will encourage families and new cyclists to take on a new challenge, riding on streets they may not have had the opportunity to ride on before, in totally unique circumstances."

Jack Mills, Centre Manager at The Loading Bay, said: “As Glasgow’s only indoor skatepark we are extremely excited to welcome another cycling event to the city. We want to get as many people on bikes as possible as we know firsthand the benefits these can have on mental and physical wellbeing for people of all ages. Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle will be a milestone for the city, and we are excited to see it all happen.”

The Festival Zones on the route allow riders stopping points to enjoy free, family-friendly fun activities. Other sites of interest on the route, which participants can do as many laps of as they would like, include the historic City Chambers, Duke of Wellington, Glasgow Cross, People’s Palace, Nelson Monument and McLennan Arch. The Festival Zone is open across the weekend at George Square, between midday and 19:00 on Friday 7 June, 10:00 and 19:00 on Saturday 8 June and 10:00 and 17:00 on Sunday 9 June. The Glasgow Green Festival Zone will be available between 10:00 and 17:00 on Sunday 9 June. There will be bike mechanics available to those in need and a range of food and drink concessions, plus music, games and face painting.

For those who don’t own a bike, Ford RideGlasgow FreeCycle can be enjoyed on an OVO bike, which has more than 50 docking stations across the city. To locate your nearest docking station, click here.  

Register for more information now at or just come along and ride on the day.