CYCLISTS are being called on to pedal for charity as registration opens for one of Basingstoke’s biggest annual fundraising events.

The Big Wheel, which raises money for St Michael’s Hospice, will take place on Sunday, July 27 at Down Grange Sports Complex.

Last year, more than 1,500 riders took part, raising more than £50,000 for the hospice, in Aldermaston Road.

This year, organisers are hoping that a record 2,000 people will sign up.

Riders will have the choice of four routes – five miles, 18 miles, 31 miles, or a really challenging 63 miles.

The event, now in its 22nd year, will once again include a child-friendly ride, Little Wheel 3, designed for children aged between two and seven who are unable to take part in the main event.

Chris Griffiths, marketing and events manager for St Michael’s, said: “Big Wheel is our biggest hospice-led fundraising event for 2014, and attracts both families and serious riders.

“We are blessed to have an incredible venue at Down Grange, and stunning countryside for riders to cycle through.

“This year, we hope to have our best ever year and want to see as many people taking part as possible.

“We rely on the support of the local community to make this event the success it is.”

All routes will be fully marshalled and all the children taking part in Little Wheel 3 will receive a medal on reaching the finish line.

St Michael’s Hospice cares for people with life-limiting illnesses through its in-patient unit, and offers a hospice at home service and a range of out-patient services.

Care is provided free of charge and the hospice needs to raise £2.4m a year to be able to provide the service.

For details visit stmichaelshospice .org/events or call 01256 848848.