Round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumon gearing up for Ballater Cycling Festival

Record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont is gearing up to promote the benefits of cycling at the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival in September.

The long-distance cyclist, who is known for completing an 18,000 mile round-the-world cycling challenge and who has tested the 100 mile route of the Etape Royale on a Penny Farthing, is supporting the Festival, which is takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September.

The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is the latest addition to an exciting summer of events for the Ballater area. It takes places from 16 -18 September to complement the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale – one of Scotland’s most scenic and challenging closed route cycle sportives, starting and finishing in Ballater which aims to promote the benefits of cycling to people of all ages.

The 100-mile circular route of the Quliter Cheviot Etape Royale takes participants on a traffic-free journey through historic Royal Deeside and Aberdeenshire, Moray’s Whisky Country, and back along the banks of the picturesque River Dee, allowing cyclists to take in the breathtaking scenery present throughout the region. For those who don’t feel quite up to the full distance, there are also 45 and 65 mile routes available.

A series of family-friendly events and activities are on offer over the course of the weekend, such as a mountain bike skills circuit and a bike roadshow featuring weird, wonderful and wacky bikes from the past and the present. Those participating in Etape Royale are being encouraged to bring their families along to enjoy the festivities and the rest of what Ballater has to offer.

Many local businesses are getting involved by organising activities for the weekend of the Festival. Both Cycle Highlands and The Bike Station will be offering bike rental and providing mechanical support to cyclists. Whilst the cafes in Ballater are extending their opening hours and will also be transformed into European street-style cafes, enabling customers to enjoy their food and drinks outside.

David Wright of Aberdeenshire Council, says, “The whole of Ballater is looking forward to welcoming cyclists and their families to this year’s Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival.

“Mark Beaumont is such a well-known name in the world of cycling and we’re confident that he will do a brilliant job in encouraging more people to take an interest in cycling, either as a hobby or as an alternative method of transport.

“The entire weekend will be a celebration of all things cycling and there are plenty of activities for all the family to get involved in. For those who aren’t interested in bikes, there will be a farmer’s market on the Saturday, a climbing wall, and zorbing. A ceilidh has also been organised to welcome visitors to the area at the Victoria & Albert Halls on the evening of Saturday 17 September.

“The weekend will help to highlight the excellent selection of cycling routes available in Ballater and Royal Deeside. The entire area is a cyclist’s dream, as there are scenic roads and recreational routes, plus plenty of mountain ranges for the adrenaline seekers to enjoy.”

Richard Watts, owner of Cycle Highland and chairman of Ballater Business Association, says, “The Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale and the Royal Deeside Cycling Festival combines cycling and family fun into one weekend. Family members of the participants will be able cheer them on as start and finish Etape Royale in Ballater. Whilst the cyclists are away, visitors to the Festival can enjoy the wide range of activities, food and music events on offer.

 “It’s very inspiring to see local businesses getting behind the Festival by organising events which will enhance the overall experience for both visitors and residents of Ballater. This is the first year that the Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival is being held and the whole community is getting involved, so the atmosphere in the village over the weekend is certainly not to be missed.”

The Royal Deeside Family Cycling Festival takes place from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 September in Ballater. Supported by EventScotland and official charity sponsor Marie Curie, the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale gets underway on Sunday 18 September, the cycle sportive covers 100-miles and an ascent of 2,996m. For more information, visit:

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