Gravesend Rotary Club’s target this year is to make ‘On Your Bike’ a thousand cycle day.

Riders are already signing up in their hundreds for Sunday, April 28, choosing one of three routes – 15, 30 and 45 miles — that extend out and back from Gravesend’s riverside and cater for families through to serious riders.

Rotary Club President Chris Wraight said: “We have riders signed up already from all over the South East. Last year we had over 850 riders. It would be great to see a thousand riders take part in this the 27th year we have organised the event. So we need to find those extra people to get on their bikes.”

The EllenorLions Hospices are the main beneficiary but also a further 20 charities are helped by the Rotary Club through the sponsored cycle event.

When Gravesend Rotarians began ‘On Your Bike’ in 1986 they never imagined it would last right through into the 21st Century and now be approaching £500,000 raised for charities by wheel-power.

“I believe our success has been keeping the event up to date and also listening to the cyclists particularly through our links with Gravesend Cyclists Touring Club,” said President Chris.

“On Your Bike is a real family event with its three cycling distances to choose from and lots of help and encouragement on the way around. We have the dedicated cyclists who tell us it is the best organised ride in the region and the first time riders who are happy they have completed their challenge and helped a great community cause.

“Also we have kept up to date with a web site, internet sponsorship giving and now are also getting used to the worlds of Facebook and Twitter!”

On the day the Rotary team has to register those hundreds of cyclists in just 90 minutes and that includes many who have just turned up to join in that morning. They have radio links to eight check points around the courses that follow the progress of the riders.

The event is also unique because the cyclists receive a special slate coaster and certificate plus if they get their sponsorship paid in before August 31 they are automatically entered in a free draw for a cycle donated by Tri-the-Bike Shop of Windmill Street, Gravesend.

Entry and sponsor forms for Gravesend Rotary Club’s ‘On Your Bike’ are on the web sites or or telephone 01474 568853