ALMOST 500 cyclists took part in a charity ride which raised £18,000.

Chelmsford-based J’s Hospice is set to benefit after 470 cyclists clocked up 18,200 miles.

Glorious spring sunshine beamed down on the Essex countryside to provide the perfect backdrop for the cyclists who took on the challenge.

The bike ride, which was held on May 13, is held each year to raise funds to help the charity with its work improving the lives of terminally ill young adults.

Nick Garner, fundraising manager of the charity, said: “We were amazed by everyone who signed up and took part and by their commitment raised as much as they could.

“We were, again, blessed with fantastic weather and support from companies, including Reprohouse for providing all the signs and to Spokes for the bike repair support. Thanks too to our volunteer marshalls and registration staff, as well as all the office-based volunteers.”

The event, now in its third year, offered the opportunity to ride the 15, 35 or 50-mile routes.

These started and finished in Admirals Park, Chelmsford, and took in the outlying villages and countryside north-east of the city.

The youngest sponsored rider was aged eight and the oldest was 78.

About half of the riders took on the 50-mile challenge and they were helped on their way with bananas, water and energy bars donated by local companies.

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