Cyclists in the saddle for great fundraising ride

READY TO GO The Denmead bike ride, and inset, Nick Constable.    Pictures: Sarah Standing (112536-3581 and 4915)
READY TO GO The Denmead bike ride, and inset, Nick Constable. Pictures: Sarah Standing (112536-3581 and 4915)
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PEDAL power took over Denmead as more than 100 cyclists took to the streets to raise charity cash.

The Denmead bike ride is an annual fundraising event which leaves from the Harvest Home pub in Southwick Road.

READY TO GO Nick Constable.    Picture: Sarah Standing (112536-4915)

READY TO GO Nick Constable. Picture: Sarah Standing (112536-4915)

This year, cyclists raised money for the MS Society and the Salvation Army.

They had the option of cycling either 10, 20 or 35 miles across the Hampshire countryside.

Mike Thwaites, organiser of yesterday’s event, said: ‘This is the 11th year we have held the event.

‘We had well over 100 people which I am pleased about given the weather conditions.

‘When we first started it was just a cycle ride but I always wanted to try and turn it into a village event and it’s getting there.’

One man who wasn’t afraid to take on a challenge was 35-year-old Nick Constable from Hart Plain Avenue in Cowplain, who decided to run the 20-mile cycle route with a rucksack weighing 40lb.

He said: ‘I just wanted to help raise some money. It’s something that will make people think it’s a valuable cause.

‘The weather is good, because the wetter it is, the faster I run.’

Events were held at the pub all day with a candy floss stall, fire engine, an auction, raffle and a tombola.

Bands also provided musical entertainment.

Pub landlady Dawn Stevenson, 37, said: ‘Everyone knows everybody in here.

‘Everyone has helped put the tables and chairs out.

‘It unites the whole community every year. Everybody gets involved and wants to know what’s happening and what they can do to help. It just brings everybody together.’

Mark Foskett, 42, from Closewood Road in Waterlooville, added: ‘I like the challenge. I haven’t done a big ride for a long time.

‘I have been meaning to do this for a number of years. It’s just a general enjoyment of getting out in the countryside in the fresh air.

‘Thirty-five miles is quite a long way when you haven’t done it for a few years.’