Help for Heroes bike ride

More than 1,300 cyclists took to the streets of central London today in aid of Armed Forces charity Help for Heroes. They were led by over 100 wounded servicemen, women and veterans.

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Cyclists take to the streets for Help for Heroes

More than 1,300 cyclists took to the streets of central London today in aid of the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

The Hero Ride saw hundreds of organised bike rides from around the country meeting in Blackheath, southeast London before travelling together to the finish line at Horse Guards Parade.

ITV News reporter Piers Hopkirk reports:

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Help for Heroes charity tweets Hero Ride facts

The armed forces charity Help for Heroes has revealed some facts about today's Hero Ride through London on its Twitter page:

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Help for Heroes cycling event set to raise £1 million

Today's Hero Ride cycling event in central London is expected to raise around £1 million for the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

The cyclists ride down The Mall in central London. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Singer James Blunt was among those who took part in the challenge, while road cyclist Mark Cavendish and his model fiancee Peta Todd gave their support to the participants as they completed their rides.

Singer James Blunt (centre) takes part in the Hero Ride, in aid of the armed forces charity Help for Heroes. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Blunt, who was an officer in the Life Guards and served in Kosovo before his music career, said: "For me the most inspiring thing was seeing at the very front of the peloton a group of our wounded soldiers.

Cyclists take part in the Hero Ride in central London. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

"Rather than me with my two arms and two legs on my bicycle, some of them are missing one or two or three limbs, and still they've been the fastest and the fittest and the guys with the biggest smiles on their faces".

More than 1,300 cyclists take part in London's Hero Ride

Cyclists take part in the Hero Ride, in aid of the armed forces charity Help for Heroes along The Mall in central London. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

More than 1,300 cyclists are taking to central London's streets for today's Hero Ride, in aid of the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

Cyclists take part in the Hero Ride, in aid of the armed forces charity Help for Heroes. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

They include 300 fundraisers who arrived in the capital from Paris, having cycled from France over five days.

The fundraisers in London include 300 people from Paris, who have cycled from France over five days. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Those taking part are cycling more than 350 miles through the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.

A cyclist gets some support from the waiting crowd. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Other self-organised rides are taking place from various locations and meeting in Blackheath, southeast London, before culminating at Horse Guards Parade.

Help for Heroes founder: 'Support the Hero Ride'

A co-founder of Help for Heroes has appealed for the public to support today's planned Hero Ride.

Bryn Parry said:

We are asking anyone who can, to join us in London (today), line the route of Hero Ride, donate and demonstrate your dignified respect and long-term commitment to those who serve and risk all on our behalf.

To our great British public, we thank you sincerely for your wonderful, continued support.

To ride alongside a young man missing three limbs as he powers his handbike up yet another hill, in the pouring rain, determined to complete a 90-mile day is inspiration enough to understand why our support is so needed, so important and must endure."

– Bryn Parry

Thousands cycle to London for Help for Heroes

The launch of the Hero Ride at the Help For Heroes Recovery Centre at Tedworth House, Tidworth Credit: Anwar Hussein/Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Hero Ride, a charity race organised by Help for Heroes, will be arriving in London later today, following a week full of money-raising efforts across the country.

Over 1,000 cyclists will meet in Blackheath, having completed their own individual charity bike rides, to cycle the final ten miles to the finish line at Horse Guards Parade.

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