MORE than 500 people took part in a cycle challenge to raise money for The Rowans Hospice.
Following a successful event last year, the Purbrook hospice decided to hold the event again and was delighted to have 436 people pre-register and another 65 turn up on the day.
The cyclists, of all ages and abilities, set off from 1000 Lakeside, North Harbour, to ride either 18, 30, or 65 miles to raise sponsorship. Seven-year-old Dylan Bryant, took part with his mum Liz Procter and stepdad Tim Corrigan. The family, from Hayling Island, rode the 18-mile course.
Dylan was first out of the family to cross the finish line.
Liz said: ‘Dylan asked if he can come back again next year. He made it look easy.’
Brian Murtagh, from Southsea, rode the 65-mile route with five members of the Meon Valley Cycling Club. His father William died from cancer in 1995.
Brian said: ‘My dad received care from nurses and I’m a senior nurse myself so I know how important it is to support health charities like this.’
Richard Pearman, team leader at Wiggle, the race’s sponsors, took part with his partner Nikki Wheeler and friend Bob Hatton.
Richard, from Denmead, said: ‘My partner’s parents both died from cancer.
‘Her father Cyril was at The Rowans when he passed away last December, so we know what a great cause it is.
‘I love cycling – it’s my passion and I helped to plan the route. Wiggle has picked The Rowans as its charity of the year and we do a lot of fundraising for them.’
The Rowans chief executive Ruth White took part in the challenge herself, cycling 18 miles, with her family.
Ruth said: ‘It was great fun. It was a super family event and the route was lovely.’
The Rowans Hospice offers palliative care for those with life-limiting illnesses, and many took part in the ride in memory of lost loved ones.