MORE than 500 cyclists took part in this year's Macmillan Dorset Bike Ride.

The riders, who set off from Corfe Mullen Recreation Ground in stages on Sunday, tackled four different courses, with distances of 100, 63, 48 and 38 miles.

Ride organiser Peter Smith-Nicholls told the Daily Echo he hopes the event, in its 31st year, will raise £50,000 for the cancer charity.

He said: "I was a bit worried about this year's event, people were not signing up very early. Then we had a big rush in the last week and because of the good weather lots of people turned up on the day.

"We knew we'd be down a bit this year as we dropped a few shorter distances, but we are really happy the numbers picked up for the longer rides.

"The 63 mile distance was the most popular ride, more than 200 did that."

The course took riders out towards Blandford and Sherborne.

Peter added: "We have had more than one hundred volunteers involved, and that makes it a good day for the people taking part.

"One hundred people have given up their day, perhaps their whole weekend, to ensure the ride ran smoothly.

"The total course is 110 mile, which we had to sign and marshal up, which was a massive job."