A CHARITY cycling event set up for a girl with a life-limiting disease has had its largest number of entries.
Ross and Nikki Green created the Tour de Berkshire ride after their daughter Tilly was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
The inherited disease is caused by a faulty gene, leading to mucus gathering in the lungs and digestive system. There is currently no cure, although there are ways to treat the condition.
Now in its eighth year, the Tour de Berkshire has raised nearly £70,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
And on Saturday, 322 riders set off from Cottage Inn, Bucklebury, to take in the rural routes through Yattendon, Hampstead Norreys, Aldworth and Hermitage.
Mr Green said that the number of people who took part was the biggest yet, with the amount of money raised from this year’s event set to be just short of £12,000.
Mr Green said that the number of people collecting sponsorships was a key factor towards the total, which is set to be the event’s second-best.
“It’s brilliant, amazing really,” Mr Green said.
“It’s very humbling. It’s turned into a bit of a monster.
“It keeps growing and growing with the people who come out and support us.”
Tilly took on the ride once again, as did Mr Green’s schoolfriend Steven Woods – in squirrel costume.
Mr Green said that word of the event was spreading, with riders travelling from as far as Colchester and Windsor to take part.
“There were more children and definitely more families,” he said.
“It’s people realising that it’s not a race or serious ride.
“It’s people willing each other along and it’s a family-friendly ride.”
Despite Saturday’s chaotic weather, which saw sunshine, lightning and hail, Mr Green said many of the riders enjoyed the challenge, while others took to hiding under bridges to avoid it.
Community fundraisier for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Claire Milloy said: “We are so very grateful to Ross and Nikki Green and all of their wonderful team of volunteers who have once again put on a superb event.
“The day itself was a huge success and despite the typical British weather throwing all of the elements at this year’s participants, everyone looked to have had a fantastic time.
“With entries having increased from 2016, many cyclists raising sponsorship and some fantastic donations, it looks to have raised around £12,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust to help us continue in our fight for a life unlimited by cystic fibrosis.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to absolutely everyone involved in making the Tour de Berkshire 2017 so successful.”
Visit the Tour de Berkshire Facebook page or www.tourdeberkshire.co.uk for more information and to sign up for next year’s ride on August 4.