PEOPLE are being urged to join a charity challenge for Maggie's Forth Valley and notch up hundreds of miles in the process.

Maggie's, in partnership with the UCI Cycling World Championships, is asking people to complete 250 or 500 miles by August 13 and help raise money as part of its Gran Fondo Cycling Challenge.

Yvonne McIntosh, the centre's head, is also gearing up to join in for what will be a celebration of cycling for everyone.

She said: “I am not a professional cyclist at all but Maggie’s support is so very important for anyone dealing with a diagnosis – a lifeline even – I just wanted to give something back.

“I know my legs will be sore but it will be worth it if I can raise some money for Maggie’s.”

Loosely translated as “big race”, the Gran Fondo is all about community, inclusion and a celebration of competitive cycling, not just for the professionals.

Be it by road, mountain, gravel or static bike, BMX or otherwise, the challenge is open to cyclists of all levels.

Cristina Pouso, fundraising manager at Maggie's Forth Valley, said: “I am so grateful to Yvonne as well as everyone else who is taking part in our amazing Gran Fondo event.

“It is quite a challenge but we appreciate every push of the pedal – we rely on voluntary donations to help as many people living with cancer as possible.”

Participants who sign up to raise funds for Maggie’s will receive a free cycling jersey and can join the community via a dedicated Maggie’s Virtual Gran Fondo Facebook group while tracking rides on Strava and joining the Strava group to be part of the chat.

Trophies are available for the top fundraiser, the oldest or youngest cyclists, those that have the best finish line photo or most outlandish cycling outfit.

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