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9 June 2008

Pedal Power Showcases Scotland As A Cycling Destination

Minister for Transport, Stewart Stevenson will join over 100 cyclists today (Monday 9 June) in a 200 mile mass bike ride which showcases a great way to enjoy a sustainable holiday and Scotland as a premium cycling destination.

The Clyde-Tae-Forth ride has been organised by the UK 's leading sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Glasgow 's Lord Provost, Robert Winter, will wave-off the cyclists on their five day adventure from George Square . The riders will finish in Edinburgh on 13 June and will be met by a welcoming party at the Scottish Parliament.

The route will take in some of Scotland 's most stunning scenery with overnight stays in Aberfoyle, Killin, Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross, highlighting the benefits of cycle tourism to the local economies and community life.

The ride will also highlight two new cycling projects which have been developed as part of the Sustrans' Connect2 project to help make the local environment easier and more attractive to travel around on foot or by bike. These include:
  • 'Bridge to Nowhere', a half-finished walking and cycling bridge over the M8 motorway in Glasgow city centre, which will be completed with Connect2's help.
  • A new walking and cycling bridge over the River Tay connecting Perth and Scone .
John Lauder, Sustrans National Director for Scotland , is keen for people to see Scotland in a different light. He said:

"The Clyde-Tae-Forth ride is a fun way for people to explore the landscape, heritage and culture of this region of Scotland - with stunning views from the saddle guaranteed. It's going to be an exciting ride, especially with the added adventure of trailblazing a possible new route and visiting the Connect2 schemes to see the real difference better facilities for cyclists and walkers will make. And with lots of traffic-free sections and a gentler pace, this ride is great for families.

Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"The Clyde-Tae-Forth route has some fantastic scenery and taking the journey by bicycle is a great way to enjoy it. Promoting active and sustainable transport is a key priority for the Scottish Government. Cycling is a great way for people to keep fit and do a bit for the environment."

Duncan McLaren?, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:"The Clyde-Tae-Forth ride is a great way of showing that you don't need to fly thousands of miles to find a great holiday - they can actually be found right here in Scotland . Like the Slow Food movement, this is slow travel, and lets you really get to see the scenery and country without causing harm to the environment."

The 200 mile cycle takes in part of one of Scotland 's greatest assets, the canal network. Richard Millar from British Waterways Scotland said:

"We are delighted to welcome the cyclists from Sustrans Clyde-Tae-Forth ride at Bowling Harbour , which is part of the National Cycle Network. Sustrans has kindly worked in partnership with British Waterways Scotland to improve this area of the canal so it is a fitting place for the cyclists to take a well deserved rest today. We hope this initiative will encourage more people to get on their bikes and use the canal network in Scotland as a cycling route."

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