The Tour of Britain returned to Glasgow in 2016, with the city hosting the Grand Depart of the UK’s premier road cycling event.
It was the first time the Tour had been to Glasgow since 2008, and its return reflected an ever-increasing appetite for cycling in the city.
In those intervening years, Glasgow has welcomed a brand new velodrome (named after a certain Sir Chris Hoy), a cycle hire scheme and at least 100 new bike racks each year.
And when you add in the nearby lochs, glens and reservoirs, it all adds up to a pure braw place to cycle, as they say in these parts.
“I’ve lived in Glasgow for over 30 years, and cycling’s been my passion since childhood. Riding takes me back to those carefree younger days, so it’s a great way to unwind from the busier elements of life. I work full time and travel across the UK with my job so I love to blow away the cobwebs on my bike. It’s easy to get around Glasgow by bike and it’s such an interesting city full of historical, cultural and architectural landmarks.”
Colette’s favourite route:
“This route takes in some local historical buildings and parkland in Glasgow’s West End as well as some famous engineering landmarks in the city centre. It’s a really popular route which attracts cyclists of all abilities who are looking for new ways to explore their city. Plus there are plenty of great little cafes en route if you fancy stopping off for a nice hot drink and a yummy baked treat!”
Based in the Southside of Glasgow, SoulRiders is a community cycling organisation offering training, mechanical repairs, and a lounge space for meetings and socialising. We spoke to Project Manager Rashid Khaliq to find out more.
Tell us a bit about SoulRiders…
Our vision is to create a stronger, healthier, more active community through cycling. We’re a diverse melting pot of personalities and cultures that all have two wheels in common.
We have a customised workshop where we refurbish second hand bikes for sale, carry out repairs and provide mechanical training. We have big ambitions, be it supporting people learning to ride for the first time or creating elite SoulRiders.
What else do you have going on?
Our pride and joy is the SoulLounge – a spacious, comfortable, theatre-style area where people can socialise with some hot food before or after a ride. We hold large community meetings, training sessions, cycling movie nights, women-only sessions and much more.
Leaving SoulRiders HQ, we organise gentle, family-orientated rides and faster, ‘roadie-paced’ led rides. We also offer mountain biking in some of the best trails in the country.
If we were planning a ride from SoulRiders HQ, where would you suggest that we go?
I’d definitely take a wee spin down the quiet lanes of Pollokshields and marvel at the lovely old houses. Heading through Maxwell Park to historic Pollok Park, you can visit the museum and Pollok House, cycle along the river and cruise along the car-free paths.
Or for a bit more adventure, hit the mountain bike track at Cathkin Braes and try to beat the world record on Strava!
Quick fire round…
Favourite cyclist – Marshall Walter ‘Major’ Taylor, AKA ‘The Black Cyclone’ – he was an American cyclist who became a world champion, setting numerous records and overcoming racial discrimination.
Fun fact – The average Tour de France rider produces enough sweat to flush 39 toilets!