Chancellor Jeremy Hunt joined up to 800 fellow cyclists as the 15th Farnham Charity Bike Ride rolled into Farnham and through the villages of East Hampshire and Hart on Sunday.
The South West Surrey MP was riding as part of the 14-strong Royal Surrey Charity team, and helped raise £14,000 towards its campaign to fund a new cancer and surgical innovation centre in Guildford.
Cycling alongside him were two Met Police protection officers – one riding a Brompton fold-up commuter bike loaned by co-organisers Farnham Round Table after suffering a mechanical issue on the start-line.
The bike ride itself raised almost £20,000 in sponsorship and sign-up fees – with all proceeds split between joint organisers Farnham Round Table and St Andrew’s Infant School.
Cyclists took on four routes, from a gentle 16 miles up to a calf-burning 75 miles, the latter taking in an ascent of Butser Hill, the South Downs’ highest point.
The mayor of Farnham, Alan Earwaker, led the countdowns to set the lycra-clad 75- and 50-mile cyclists on their way, while Dr Edd Maclead from gold sponsors and Farnham-based heart specialists EchoMed set off a horde of families on the 25- and 16-mile routes.
Silver sponsors Crest Nicholson and bronze sponsors the Farnham Herald were also on Castle Street to wave off the cyclists and greet them back. Other stallholders included the Royal Surrey Charity’s smoothie bike, a Scouts tea and cake stall, EE Therapies massage tent and The Bicycle Cave bike mechanic, as well as the Farnham Cycling Campaign and ice creams from the Icicle Bicycle.
Round Table chairman Nigel Davison said: “The Farnham Charity Bike Ride is made possible only by a huge band of volunteers who help signpost and marshal the routes, man refreshment points and complete a thousand other tasks to put on a successful event each year. Thank you to them all!”