A TEAM of workers have taken on the challenge of tackling this year's Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge.

Staff from Ellis Patents of Rillington, first took part in the event last summer and more members have joined for this year's charity ride.

The challenge, which helps raise funds for local charity Ryedale Special Families, involves cycling 144 miles in just two days around the Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route.

This year the event takes place over the weekend of Saturday, 13 and Sunday, July 14, one week after the “Grand Depart” of the Tour de France.

Starting and finishing at Norton College, the event utilises the British Cycle Network way-marked Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Route, taking in the bi-ways and country lanes of the Yorkshire Wolds.

And just for a change, this year the cyclists will tackle the 144 mile circuit in reverse, heading off in an anti-clockwise direction. Leaving Norton College, the route heads out through Leavening, Thixendale and Millington Woods, towards Pocklington, Market Weighton and Beverley, before a well-earned overnight camp at Hutton Cranswick Sports Ground.

Following a relaxing evening complete with barbeque, live music and local “Wold Top” real ale, the cyclists set off again on Sunday morning for a further 72 miles, heading out towards Driffield and Bridlington before returning to Norton College via Weaverthorpe and Sledmere.

Danny Macfarlane, Operations Director of Ellis Patents, said: “It’s fantastic for our staff. We were really keen to support a great local charity, and as a consequence we have all become much fitter and healthier.

"Eleven of us took part in the ride last year and we are up to sixteen this year. With over one third of our workforce now cycling on a regular basis, we have had to purchase a larger bike shed.”

Rob Davies, Funding Coordinator of Ryedale Special Families added: “Already in our fourth year we’re delighted that Ellis Patents have returned for another crack at the event and we’re hoping that more businesses will get involved and see the potential of “team building” within their organisations.

"Each year we get a high proportion of returning cyclist. We increased our target slightly to 175 for this year and we’re already up to 130 riders on board, which is amazing.”

The events costs £30 to enter with under 16’s free, plus a commitment to raise a minimum £50 in sponsorship, and includes luggage transfer from Norton College and back again, full medical and mechanical back-up support, as well as the Saturday night BBQ and Sunday morning breakfast.

All proceeds go directly to Ryedale Special Families to help fund their continuing care and support provided to over 450 families who have children with disabilities and/or special needs, throughout Ryedale.

Full details are available at www.yorkshirewoldscyclechallenge.org.uk