MORE than 300 riders used pedal power to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Organised by Holmes and Hills Solicitors, in Halstead, the annual bike ride raised funds for the British Heart Foundation and Abbeyfield, who provide residential care for elderly people.

Riders set off from Halstead, riding through the scenic villages of the north Essex countryside before arriving over the county border at Sudbury and heading back for a BBQ.

More than £6,100 has been raised so far with organisers expecting the figure to rise as sponsorship money is collected.

Phil Davies, partner and head of business development, said: “We would like to say well done and thank you to all the riders who took part despite the gloomy weather and we received great support from a range of businesses who donated prizes for the tombola.”

“A special mention must be given to Lobbs Cycle and Rachel Willett for providing bike repairs and photography services on the day free of charge.

“In addition to volunteers from the two charities, we would also like to thank members from community groups who gave up a substantial part of their day to help with marshalling including Halstead in Bloom, Halstead Rotary, Halstead U3A and Tiptree U3A.”

Riders had a choice of completing 11, 26, or a punishing 53 mile route as they took part in the challenge.

Organisers said the event will return next year.