A YOUNG cyclist has peddled nearly 70 miles within a day raising hundreds of pounds for charity.

Eight-year-old Emma Degiorgio, of The Stiles, Heybridge, put her peddle to the metal at the weekend and cycled a grand total of 68 miles across Mid Essex and so far has raised more than £650 for Bloodwise, a blood cancer charity.

The Great Totham Primary School pupil completed the ride with her father James, which took them from Kelvedon Hatch around a circuit of the mid county countryside, finishing in six hours and 20 minutes.

The challenge was Emma’s longest ever bike ride, having only ridden 35 miles in one sitting before.

Dad James Degiorgio said his daughter has ‘always been active’ and that she has constantly ‘chosen her own direction’.

He said: “This isn’t the first big challenge Emma has faced, several years ago she climbed Snowdonia and has done many other cycling challenges, but this one was one she chose herself.

“There were three different options of short, medium or long distance, the one we did was medium which she decided on, the long one didn’t faze her but she knew she could do well on time for this distance.

“The charity Bloodwise is one I’ve worked with in previous years, so it seemed like the ideal one to support.”

James added: “One of the things we’re most proud of Emma is that we’ve never directed her on what she should do or how she should tackle things.

“It’s always been her choice in the end of what she wants to face next. We’re always there for support, but we’ve let her do her own thing for the entire time she’s taken on these challenges.” To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thetroll.