Despite the dull start to the day, 97 riders took to the lanes of Suffolk for the Cycle Club Sudbury long distance audax rides from Bildeston on Saturday.
Riders travelled from as far afield as Sussex, Kent, Spalding and the Scottish Borders to take part, while two Swedes on holiday from Gothenburg also joined the rides.
Thirty-eight riders tackled the 209k route via Halesworth to the coast at Orford and back via Framlingham and Debenham, and 20 took the slightly shorter 168k (100-mile) route directly to Orford, with a stop at Wickham Market on their return.
The 104k ride attracted 39 entries for a circular route through the countryside around Bildeston.
Ten local riders, including two Cycle Club Sudbury juniors, Charlie Upton, eight, and Daisy Skeats, 10, also completed a 25-mile Challenge route, using lanes to Buxhall and back.
The longer rides encountered some mixed weather during the afternoon, with brief thunderstorms and hail showers, but all made it safely back, having encountered sand washed off fields onto the lanes by recent heavy rain near Orford.
Two of the entrants were using the weekend as final preparation for the legendary London–Edinburgh–London audax event, which starts next weekend. Riders have just over 100 hours to complete this event, over a route of 1400k, taking in some of the wilder areas of the north of England and the borders.
As a result of the day’s activities, donations of £100 each have been sent to St Nicholas Hospice, St Helena Hospice, and the East Anglian Childrens’ Hospice.