HUNDREDS cycled for charity at the weekend in Furness' answer to the epitome of professional cycling  - the Tour de Furness.

Members of Barrow's Rotary Club and helpers met, in pouring rain, at Roose Cons Club at the crack of dawn to set up the registration gazebos and cooking equipment for the Tour de Furness.

Despite the rain, the first riders turned up at around 7am to do the Bluebird 50 mile run to Coniston and back. In the end, more than 130 riders took on the challenging Bluebird ride with the fastest - although the Tour de Furness isn’t a race - completing the circuit in two hours and 57 minutes - an average of nearly 17 mph.

The five, 11 and 23 mile runs were also well supported and in total more than 200 riders took part on the day.

Participants were raising money for their own favourite charity, St Mary’s Hospice or the Rotary Club and while the final figures have not been confirmed, the Rotary Club expects to have raised in excess of £10,000. Every rider received a Certificate and a medal from President Fred Winkfield.

A spokesman for the Rotary Club said: "The rain finally eased at around 9.00am and the sun came out and it was an excellent morning with music from Cando FM to be enjoyed by all.

"When the riders returned to Roose Cons Club they were able to have refreshments barbecued by the Rotarians and served by many helpers. Without these helpers at Roose Cons Club and those marshalling out on the routes it would not be possible to run the cycle ride and so the Rotary Club is very grateful for their assistance."

Heidi Bowron, area fundraiser for St Mary’s Hospice, said: “We are proud to share that once again, the fabulous Rotary Club of Furness’s iconic cycle ride has been a great success. And are overwhelmed at the support for St Mary’s Hospice. Thank you so very much.”