The largest number of cyclists to ever take part in the annual Cycle For Cynthia event at Althorp took to their saddles to pedal a five, 25 or 50 mile ride this morning.
The event, which again raised money for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support, saw more than 1,000 people take on one of the three challenges, whether they were a seasoned cyclist, riding a penny farthing or a young riders.
Others took on the challenge on tandem bikes and even on old “butcher’s bike”.
The event returned to Althorp having moved there last year.
The participants included Northampton Saints’ director of rugby Jim Mallinder, who took on the 25 mile challenge, and BBC radio and TV star Jo Whiley, who started the event and then rode alongside her family.
Mr Mallinder, who rode a Tour De France stage over the summer and took on the challenge with his son, Saints’ kit man Kevin Buckby and communications manager Chris Wearmouth, said: “I do a bit of cycling and it is a fantastic cause.
“It is really good that the people of Northampton and further afield are supporting a terrific cause such as this.”
Radio DJ Mrs Whiley, who used to work in the kitchen at Althorp as a youngster, attended the event with her whole family, including her parents, who live in nearby Great Brington.
She told the Chronicle & Echo: “I got involved to support the charities because I think it is an important thing to do.
“It is my first Cycle for Cynthia, I got the call asking me to come and I couldn’t possibly say no.”
The biggest group of cyclists came from Kingsthorpe based firm Briggs & Forrester.
They entered an amazing 144 riders, of all ages and abilities, following Earl Spencer’s pledge to reward the largest corporate team from Northamptonshire to take part with a drinks reception at Althorp.
Alex Sarjeant, aged 45, from Northampton, from the firm, said: “Earl Spencer laid down the challenge to get the biggest team and we went for it. We have 144 riders. Some are amateur riders and some are here for the first time just to have a go.”
Organisers are hoping to raise around £50,000 from the event, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.
The event has already raised more than £200,000 for the two charities over the past few years.
One group, from Northampton Road Cycling Club, raised £10,000 alone, having already cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End.