Great Notts Bike Ride marks 35 years in Nottinghamshire
A charity bike ride founded by volunteers in 1982 is being held in Nottinghamshire for the 35th time after growing into a huge annual event.
The Great Notts Bike Ride was started by Pedals, a group which campaigns for safer cycling conditions around Nottingham.
Pedals member Hugh McClintock has ridden every year since it began.
He said the ride has changed considerably since then, growing from a few hundred participants to thousands.
Mr McClintock said: "The first ride was organised at very short notice and there were only 250 riders.
"People were encouraged to wear fancy dress and that was quite an important part of the ride for a few years, but I think that died out when lycra became more fashionable."
A wider variety of riders now compete in the annual event.
"There are short rides on the Saturday, which are great for bringing in kids," Mr McClintock said.
"Having longer rides - 75 and 100 miles - is very good for people keen on racing."
The name became shortened to the Great Notts Bike Ride over the years, and there are now 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125-mile routes.
There are 4,000 people signed up for this year's main rides, which are on Sunday, and 500 signed up for shorter City Rides on Saturday.
History of the Great Notts Bike Ride
1982 - The ride was founded as the Great Nottingham Bike Ride, inspired by the London to Brighton Ride which had started a few years earlier. The 250 riders set off from the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham, rode 18 miles to Newark, then had to make their own way home
1983 - More than 650 riders took part
1984 - More than 1,000 riders took part, making it too big for Pedals to organise on its own, so the group approached Nottinghamshire County Council for help
1985 - Nottinghamshire County Council took over from Pedals as the main organiser. The name changed to the Great Nottinghamshire Bike Ride and riders set off from County Hall
1986 - The start was moved to the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepont, and a choice of 50 and 18-mile circular rides was offered
2008 - a longer 100-mile ride was added
2009 - a 70-mile sportive ride was added
2012 - Nottingham City Council took over after the county council ended its involvement due to financial cutbacks. Marketing and events company Perfect Motion started running the ride as part of the Cycle Live Nottingham weekend festival of cycling, and the start switched to Victoria Embankment in Nottingham.