HUNDREDS of cyclists soaked up the sun as they pedalled their way around Berkshire, Buckingham and Oxfordshire last Sunday.

The Three Counties Cycle Ride, which is organised by the Rotary Club of Bracknell, started and finished at Garth Hill College, with participants choosing to cycle 15, 33 or 54 miles around the stunning Thames Valley countryside.

A total of 640 cyclists set off this year, each raising money for their own chosen charities and the event's main charities, which included the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Breakthrough Learning, Pilgrim Hearts' Bracknell Night Shelter, and the Bracknell Rotary Club Charity Fund.

Event organiser Dave Donaldson welcomed the riders to the starting line on Sunday, June 3, before the Borough Mayor Cllr Alvin Finch, Town Mayor Cllr Sandra Ingham, her consort John Ingham, special guest Isabel Mattick, and the President of the Rotary Club of Bracknell Nigel Boshier set them on their way in waves of 100.

Refreshments were provided before and after the event by the local Girl Guides, who were collecting money for an orphanage project in Ghana.

Arriving back at the finishing line, the cyclists received a medal and a certificate, along with a goody bag courtesy of Robert Fraser Group and Tesco in Bracknell north and Martin's Heron.

Participants could also treat themselves to a post-ride massage courtesy of Emerald Massage.

Mr Donaldson said: "Since the cycle ride was founded in 1983, thanks to all our cyclists and supporters we have raised over £700,000 pounds for our charities. And as a rider to this report, no cyclist needed rescue or medical attention today."

The date for next year's event has already been set, with cyclists encouraged to pencil Sunday, June 2, 2019 into their diaries now.