A CHARITY dedicated to helping people with life-limiting illnesses is set to bring back its annual cycling event next month.

Tyres will be pumped up and cycle helmets strapped on as Cycle for Life, Farleigh Hospice’s annual bike ride, returns to the roads of mid Essex on Sunday, September 18.

The charity is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and Cycle for Life is an important event in its fundraising calendar.

Spokesman Selina Joslin said: “Cycle for Life is a popular event as it appeals to cyclists of all ages and abilities.

“Last year, nearly 350 people took part, from beginners and families enjoying a fun ride through the beautiful Essex countryside to experienced cyclists looking for a greater challenge.

“There is a choice of three scenic routes - 20, 50 or 100 kilometres – all starting and finishing at Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford.” 

The shortest distance is a family-friendly route that is ideal for the beginner or younger cyclists.

Farleigh say the 50km route is a relaxed cycle ride through all eight of the Essex Rodings.

The longest 100km course is more challenging, going through the Rodings, the villages of Thaxted and Finchingfield and then following 35km of the 2014 Tour de France route.

The hospice is encouraging everyone taking part to get sponsored.

Selina said: “Farleigh Hospice is a charity, so we rely on the local community’s kind support for our fundraising events.

“As this is our 40th birthday year, we hope to see even more cyclists at the start line and we are very grateful to everyone who asks their family and friends to sponsor them to raise money for us.

“Every penny will help us to continue providing much-needed care and support to anyone in mid Essex affected by life-limiting illnesses and bereavement, free of charge.

”And if you’re not a keen cyclist, please help make the day a big success by joining our team of fantastic event volunteers.”

It costs £20 to cycle the 20km route, £30 for the 50km and £40 for the 100km.

Children under 18 cycle for free but they must register and be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, go to www.farleighhospice.org/cycle.