Launch of new cycling festival in city centre

Lucy Johnston2022, News

Aberdeen City Council, in co-operation with Scottish Cycling, multiple Grampian cycling clubs, Sweetspot Group and GetAbout, is pleased to announce a packed day of cycling activities across the city centre to celebrate the Tour of Britain Grand Depart on 3rd September 2022.

The GetAbout Aberdeen Cycling Festival will see the city centre play host to a mixture of youth, adult and corporate races, as well as a range of family friendly, active and sustainable transport themed activities.

GetAbout is a partnership of local organisations that want to make it easier, simpler, and more attractive to travel sustainably in and around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire – whether you are cycling, walking, wheeling, using public transport or sustainable car travel.

GetAbout will culminate in the Scottish National Criterium Championships for senior and junior riders, showcasing the best upcoming Scottish talent. The event will be the first Scottish National Criterium Championship to be held in a city centre since 2016.

Aberdeen City Council Educational Convener Councillor Martin Greig said: “When it was announced that Aberdeen would be hosting the Grand Depart of the Tour of Britain, we realised the importance of encouraging and promoting all ages to take up cycling and to keep active.

“Although the Tour of Britain celebrations were restricted last year, it is wonderful to be able to launch the GetAbout Aberdeen Cycling Festival that will bring a fun-packed weekend of cycling activities to the city centre for people of all ages to enjoy.”

Aberdeen City Council Educational Vice Convener Councillor Jessica Mennie said: “Last year’s Tour of Britain event was a great success, and this year will be bigger opportunity to showcase our city region as a must-visit tourist destination and celebrate all that we have to offer.

“This is also a fantastic opportunity for our city’s businesses to benefit from this event as we extend the main event over the weekend as we attract people back into Aberdeen’s city centre and its attractions.

“The GetAbout Aberdeen Cycling Festival will be funded by Smarter Choices, Smarter Places (SCSP), which is Paths for All’s programme to increase active and sustainable travel throughout Scotland.

The programme is grant-funded by Transport Scotland. The current SCSP match fund is Cycling Walking Safer Routes (CWSR), which is also funded by Transport Scotland, and aims to improve the uptake of walking, cycling and wheeling in Scotland.

Graham McQueen, SCSP Manager at Paths for All, said: “Events like this highlight cycling in a really positive way and we hope that people watching the competitors will be inspired to get on their own bikes for their short, everyday journeys.

“The combination of the inspiring racing and the support and encouragement to leave the car at home encourages healthier living and will also help to lower emissions and improve air quality for everyone.

“Our SCSP programme is open to offer grants to third, community and public sector organisations looking to encourage more people to walk, cycle or use sustainable transport and support behaviour change in new and creative ways.”

Nick Rennie, CEO of Scottish Cycling said: “The culmination of last year’s Tour of Britain in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire was an excellent spectacle, and it is fantastic to build on that success this year with a Cycling Festival ahead of the maiden stage.

“Using high profile events to inspire others to get on a bike is a great additional benefit and the cycling festival provides that perfect opportunity. I am looking forward to joining in and getting on my bike on the streets of my home city.”

The excitement will continue Sunday 4th September, as the Tour of Britain begins its first stage in Aberdeen City Centre before finishing at the Glenshee Ski Centre.