A sponsored 100k bike ride held by an Ilkley and Harrogate-based charity smashed all records with hundreds of riders contributing to a £50,000-plus fundraising total.

The seventh annual Acorn Charity Sponsored 100k Bike Ride took place on Saturday, May 11, attracting more than 680 riders to tackle the tough circular route around North Yorkshire.

The ride has grown every year, with more cyclists helping raise funds for Acorn’s two charities – helping people with dementia and their carers in the Ripon and Harrogate area and for research into scleroderma at Leeds General Infirmary.

The bike ride started at Bishop Monkton and followed a 100k circular route through Boroughbridge, Helperby, Easingwold, Sheriff Hutton, Linton-on-Ouse and Marton-cum-Grafton before returning to Bishop Monkton.

The route was marshalled by more than 50 volunteers and lunch was provided at Sheriff Hutton with tea and cake at the finishing point in Bishop Monkton. St John’s Ambulance were on hand to deal with medical emergencies, and Chevin Cycles of Otley with mechanical difficulties. A number of other companies, including Bettys, also contributed to the event.

This year, the number of registered cyclists increased by over 100 from last year and the amount raised increased from £32,000 to £50,000.

Acorn chairman Louise Hanen said: “It is extraordinary how this event has grown. Each year we are delighted to welcome more and more cyclists who help to raise funds with their sponsorship and we could not, of course, run this event without our fantastic volunteers who not only marshall the event, help at the start and finish, but also bake a huge number of excellent cakes so our cyclists are rewarded for their efforts at the end. £50,000 is an astonishing figure and one which will make such a difference in the community, enabling us to support many people locally with dementia and to continue important research into scleroderma at Leeds General Infirmary.”

There are prizes for the two cyclists generating the largest amount of sponsorship money, who will receive a ladies’ or gents’ mountain bike.

Although the bike ride is not a race, individual cyclists posted some fast times. Jason Harper of the Capuccino Club reached the finish line in two hours and 46 minutes and the fastest women were Linda Wilson and Christine Orr in three hours and 25 minutes. One of the oldest riders was 76-year-old Peter Marlow, who also took part last year.