ALMOST 2,000 people took to their bikes this weekend for the British Heart Foundation's annual London to Reading Bike Ride.

This year's riders included Heart FM Berkshire breakfast presenters Matt and Michelle, who completed the course on a rickshaw, and the Heart FM Berkshire team motivated and entertained participants and spectators on the day.

The bike ride which started at Kempton Park in London and finished in Christchurch Meadows in Reading, saw riders cover 40 miles through picturesque villages and spring countryside to raise urgently needed funds for life saving research funded by the nation’s heart charity.

The event was supported by Tesco and Jaffa, in a united front against coronary heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer.

Matt said: "My grandad died of a heart attack just before Christmas and that really does make you realise how important the BHF’s research is to finding new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent heart disease. I was definitely thinking of him throughout the whole event."

Michelle said: "I was shocked when I heard that seven million people are affected by heart and circulatory disease in the UK and the sudden devastation it can cause to millions of families. It was an honour to be involved, spread the word, and to do as much as possible to raise money for the BHF’s life saving research."

BHF Event Organiser Maxine Bateman said: "We rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to pay for life saving research, so I would like to thank everyone who took part, everyone who supported our riders and all of our volunteers.

"The atmosphere at the finish line was one of joy, success and a sense of achievement. It was a windy day, adding to the challenge but our riders conquered it.

"Thank you to everyone who has already sent in their sponsorship money, we have raised more than £110,000. If you haven’t yet, don’t worry; there’s still time to set up a fundraising page and help us raise even more money to go towards essential research into heart disease.

"Coronary heart disease is not beaten yet – it remains the single biggest killer in the UK and it’s because of your support, that we are able to continue our fight to find a cure."

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