Along the way, we hope to inspire readers to rediscover the joys of cycling – and perhaps tackle the Pedal For Scotland route, which runs from Glasgow Green through Airdie, Avonbridge, Lintlithgow and beyond to finish in Murrayfield Stadium. If we can do it, so can you.
To help us get on track, we have pulled together a team of experts including a mentor, mechanic, nutritionist and sports psychologist. Our sponsor, top Scottish cycling retailer Alpine Bikes, will also be providing hands-on support as we offer tips and advice with weekly updates on The Herald Magazine outdoors page.
First, meet the team. There is Matthew Lindsay, sports reporter, who seeks solace in cycling from the madness of the football beat; Mark Gibson, photographer and our resident comedian; Donald Cowey, Herald sports editor and voice of calm in any storm; Garry Scott, magazine editor, and Evel Knievel wannabe; Matty Sutton, news reporter, who brings our average age (and BMI) down to the low 30s; and me, Susan Swarbrick, features writer, columnist, team captain and unabashed cycling geek.
Already we have had our first induction into the cruel realities of the sport. It came as we pulled on our new cycling togs, and realised that white Lycra can be a cruel mistress.
It can only get better. See you at the start line?
The freshnlo Pedal For Scotland Glasgow to Edinburgh 47-mile challenge ride takes place on September 9. Entry costs £24 (£14 for under-16s and over 60s). For more information, visit www.pedalforscotland.org
The Herald and Sunday Herald team will be riding to raise funds for The Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust. The charity was founded in memory of Andrew McNicoll, who died following a cycling accident in Edinburgh on January 5. Its aim is to raise funds and campaign for safer cycling across Scotland. To make a donation, visit www.andrewcyclist.com