After some uncertainty, Shaftesbury Rotary Club’s charitable fundraiser, the North Dorset Cycle Ride, is planned for Sunday, May 16.

The ride takes in the amazing natural beauty of the towns and villages around the Blackmore Vale and is Shaftesbury Rotary’s biggest fundraising event each year.

Many charities have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19, so the event will be more important than ever, say the organisers. The Rotary committee have an ambitious fundraising target of £20,000 to be donated to Prostate Cancer UK, as well as to other local charities.

Jim Highnam, managing director of BV Dairy, said: “We are proud our local family business is supporting the North Dorset Cycle Ride. We have some keen cyclists at BV Dairy, including myself, taking part and many employees will be volunteer marshals too. The stunning route, which takes riders to the South and West of Shaftesbury, will actually pass many of the local dairies from where we buy milk, so it’s a perfect fit for us.”

Entry numbers are capped this year to allow for staggered start times and social distancing. The organisers promise all the usual event day charm, including the iconic Gold Hill “finish” line which involves cycling (or attempting to) ride up the famous Hovis hill.

The three routes to choose from start on Castle Hill and finish on Gold Hill. The easiest is a family friendly 12-mile route, the second a tougher 25-mile route and lastly a 50-mile ride for the more serious biker!

Registration is now open online for £25 per adult for the 25-mile and 50-mile rides, and £20 per adult for the 12-mile ride. Due to COVID restrictions, entries will not be accepted on the day. Young people aged 10 to 16 are half price, and children under 10 are welcome join for free.

Riders can sign-up by going to the website or contact Martin on 07341 866941

“We hope our readers will support this fantastic event!”