Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 15:21 UK

Hundreds on Armstrong Tweet ride


Hundreds of people turned out to ride alongside Lance Armstrong

About 300 people have joined an impromptu bike ride with cycling legend Lance Armstrong after he issued an open invitation on a Twitter post.

The seven-times Tour de France winner alerted fans that he was coming to Scotland during a Tweet on Monday.

He posted: "Hey Glasgow, Scotland! I'm coming your way tomorrow. Who wants to go for a bike ride?"

Armstrong set off from Ashtree House Hotel, Paisley, Renfrewshire, shortly after 1230 BST on Tuesday.

How great was it that the Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree came out? Legend
Lance Armstrong

Up to 300 people are thought to have turned out for the event - including Scottish former cycling champion, Graeme Obree.

After the event, Armstrong posted the Tweets: "Thanks to everyone who turned up to ride in Paisley! I figured we'd have a nice ride for a dozen or so. But 100's came. Haha! Awesome!

"And yes, next time I'll try to bring some sun. You bring the translator (Scottish to Texan) and I'll bring the rays. Seriously, thanks again.

"And how great was it that the Flying Scotsman Graeme Obree came out? Legend."

BBC Scotland reporter Mark Daly spoke briefly to Armstrong before he set off at the head of a 300-strong pack of cyclists.

Tour preparation

Speaking while cycling with Armstrong, he said: "He told me he hadn't been doing too much training but he was in advance preparation of putting his team together for his assault on next year's Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong/Pic: Leigh McConnell
Armstrong delighted his fans with the visit/Pic: Leigh McConnell

"What we've been told is that he is going to do a 90-minute route which, depending on how fast he wants to go, could be anything between 30 and 40 kilometres.

"The pace is already beginning to quicken and perhaps some of the more fun cyclists may soon drop off."

BBC Scotland news website reader Leigh McConnell, from Beith in Ayreshire, said: "Went along, after getting my Tweet, to wait for the inspirational Lance Armstrong and was not disappointed.

"My best friend Jules lost her mum to cancer and Steven suffered just like Lance and all find him the most incredible person giving hope and guidance to all."

Armstrong returned to competitive cycling this year after retiring in 2005. He finished third in the 2009 Tour de France.

The 37-year-old American's achievements in the sport are considered remarkable as he has undergone several treatments for cancer after being diagnosed at the age of 25.

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