Most weeks during the summer months, we read stories in the Worcester News of cyclists who have taken on a major challenge to ride from Lands End to John O’ Groats or a more local charity ride around Worcestershire’s wonderful countryside.

Charity rides are certainly a great way to set yourself a target, remember a loved one or simply get you out cycling. In doing so you’ll be helping yourself get fit whilst also raising funds for a worthy cause. There are two ways in which charities raise funds, either by charging an entry fee or encouraging participants to seek sponsorship from friends, relatives and companies. For all rides listed below except ‘Ride and Stride’ raising sponsorship is optional.

There are two new charity rides in the Droitwich area this year. The Salt Sportive on Sunday 5 May offers 50km and 100km routes and is raising funds for Chawson First School.

Droitwich Cycle Sunday on 19 May will be raising funds for Help for Heroes. There’s 30 and 50 mile options starting from Churchfields Farm, Salwarpe.

Sun 9 June sees a return of the 18 or 52 mile Ride For Rory event starting from Morton Stanley Park, Redditch. This will raise funds for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to help buy a £1 million surgical robot to treat local prostate cancer patients.

St Richard’s Hospice Bikeathon is likely to be the biggest local charity ride of the year. It offers 15, 45 and 64 mile routes out towards and around Bredon Hill and into the Cotswolds. It starts from outside the Hospice on the County Hall car park in Worcester on Sunday 30th June. On the previous Sunday, 23 June , St Richard’s Hospice also have their Paddle, Pedal, Plod sponsored canoe, walk and cycle challenge.

The Plum Bikeaway with 8, 23 and 52 mile options starts from Pershore College on Sunday 15 September. It is a hardy perennial that used to be called the Bredon Bikeaway and is organised by Bikeaway Ventures to raise funds for St John Ambulance and Vale of Evesham Community First Responders.

Finally on Saturday 14 September the national Ride and Stride encourages supporters to organise their own sponsored ride around local historic churches to raise funds for The National Churches Trust. If you’re looking for inspiration on a route you can pick up a copy of the ‘Towers and Spires’ cycling guide from the Tourist Office. It suggests 25 and 50 mile routes around local historic churches.

Copies of a longer version of the guide can be downloaded from Worcestershire County Council website.

Sun 7 April

Blossom Bikeaway 11, 27 & 58 mile routes. Evesham.

Sun 24 April & Fri 21 June

Shakespeare by The Handlebards Bike powered theatre. Bretforton.

Wed 1 May

Around the World in 80 Days Illustrated talk by Mark Beaumont.

Sun 5 May

The Salt Sportive 50 & 100km routes, Droitwich.

Thu 9 May

Tour Series Redditch Televised professional races.

Sun 19 May

Droitwich Cycling Sunday 30 & 50 mile routes. Salwarpe.

Sat 25 – Fri 31 May

Bewdley Bike Week Various cycle related activities.

Sun 2 June

Malvern Mad Hatter Sportive

37, 62 & 100 mile routes. Malvern.

Sun 2 June

Mountain Bike Orienteering Solo or team competition, Bredon.

Mon 3 – Fri 7 June

Bike to School Week See website for details.

Sat 8 – Sun 16 June

National Bike Week For local events see website.

Sun 9 June

Worcester Cycle Sunday Family friendly riverside rides,

Sun 9 June

Ride for Rory Sponsored ride. 18 & 52 mile options. Redditch.

Sun 9 June

Honeybourne Cyclefest A day of cycling activities.

Sun 16 June

Evesham Cyclefest MTB races at The Valley, Evesham.

Sun 23 June

Paddle, Plod, Pedal Sponsored canoe, walk & cycle challenge for St Richard’s Hospice, Pershore.

Sat 23 June

The Rollright Rumble and Over the Severn 110km & 200k audax rides, Honeybourne.

Sun 30 June

St Richard’s Hospice Bikeathon Sponsored ride. 15, 45 & 64 mile routes, Worcester.

Sat 20 July

Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven Audax Rides 200 & 120 km routes, Belbroughton.

Sun 28 July Malvern Festival of Cycling Various events hosted at Malvern Cube.

Sun 11 August

Worcester Show, Gheluvelt Park See you at the Pushbike! secure cycle park and stand.

Wed 15 August

National Cycle to Work Day See website for details.

Sun 8 September

Evesham Cyclefest Sportive and family festival, Crown Meadow, Evesham.

Sat 14 September

Ride & Stride

Organise your own sponsored ride around local historic churches.

Sun 15 September

Plum Bikeaway 8, 23 & 52 mile routes, Pershore.

Sat 5 October

Autumn South Salopian 200km audax ride, Belbroughton.

Sun 6 October

Shelsley Walsh Cycling Hill Climb

Timed hill climb and cyclo-cross races.

Sun 27 October

Tour of Worcester Sportive

Worcester Racecourse. 50 & 70 mile routes.