HUNDREDS of eager cyclists are set to take part in a fundraising bike ride in and around Whitchurch next month.

Whitchurch Primary Pedal will see hundreds of people ride 20, 40 or even 60 miles through the North Hampshire Downs to the north-west of Whitchurch on May 18 to raise much-needed funds for Whitchurch Primary School and Test Valley Cycling Club.

Over 150 people have already signed up for the fundraising event. Participants will set out at 8am from Whitchurch Primary School, head out along Bell Street and into the network of country lanes that cross the countryside as far as Inkpen.

The 20-mile route is suitable for children, and the cyclists will pass through Dunley and Woodcott before stopping at the White Hart Pub, in Stoke, for a cake or a pub lunch.

More experienced cyclists will be able to take on the challenge of the 40 and 60 miles routes which will see participants ride up some of Hampshire’s iconic climbs, including Coombe Gibbet and Walbury Hill, making sure they have earned their free cake at Vernham Dean.

The entry fee to take part in the cycle is £10 for anyone over 16 and profits will be split between the two causes. Test Valley Cycling Club is planning to hold family-friendly cycling events throughout the year with the money raised.

Mike Stead, club captain of the Test Valley Cycling Club, said: “We see this event as a great way to showcase the amazing cycling opportunities in the area. We hope to grow it year on year.

“It has never been done before around here, and we think the North Hampshire Downs is the best-kept secret for cycling in the South East.”