CHARITY cyclists are preparing to go the extra mile in memory of a popular North-East mother of two.

The Big Butterwick Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, October 1, with riders embarking on a 26-mile route.

The fun event has been organised for the 14th year by Brian Hutchinson, whose sister Christine Pinkney was cared for in the Butterwick Hospice at Stockton before dying of cancer, aged 52.

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“Christine was a lovely, easy-going person and she received such fantastic care at the Butterwick that the family just wanted to put something back,” said Brian.

He is helped with the organisation by Christine Wilkinson, who lost her best friend Eileen Bird to ovarian cancer in 2002.

The ride starts at 10.30am from the Elm Tree Social Club in Bishopton Road West, Fairfield, Stockton, and follows a picturesque circular route through the villages of Elton, Long Newton, Middleton One Row, Sadberge, Bishopton, Stillington, and Redmarshall.

It is being sponsored for the seventh year by Co-operative Funeralcare Funeral Care, which supplies energy drinks and bananas for the riders, plus a buffet afterwards in the club.

“We are really grateful for that continued support because it makes such a difference,” said Brian.

In the first year, 37 riders took part but that grew to a record 171 in 2016 and Brian hopes to beat the £9,300 that was raised for the Butterwick a year ago.

There is a £10 entrance fee, plus sponsorship, and anyone raising £100 or more qualifies for a limited edition Big Butterwick Bike Ride T-shirt. Riders can pre-register at www.butterwick.org.uk/BBBR or by calling 01642-628930.

All ages and abilities are welcome but children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“Come along and have a great day out while raising money for a wonderful cause at the same time,” said Brian.