HUNDREDS of cyclists saddled up and rode distances of up to 52 miles in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
The first Mending Broken Hearts Hartlepool Sportive saw around 280 riders click into their cleats with the feedback overwhelmingly positive.
Around 260 riders set off from Seaton Carew’s Hornby Park just after 8am on Sunday, riding through Port Clarence, Thorpe Thewles, Sedgefield, Trimdon and back into the town via the A179, before crossing the finish line.
The 52-mile route included a hotly-contested King of the Mountains just before Trimdon Grange, where riders pedalled the 0.8-miles segment, with gradients reaching over 16 per cent, at speeds of 17mph.
Also 20 riders did a shorter 20-mile route that took them through Port Clarence and Billingham before returning to Seaton.
It will not be known for a few weeks how much money was raised, but early estimates are over £1,000.
Event organiser Kevin Fox told the Mail he was “absolutely delighted with how the day went” and “the response from everyone who took part has been great”.
He added: “So many people came up to me and said that it’s about time that the town had a cycle ride and they all enjoyed it.”
“People have been wanting to know if we will run it next year and the answer is a definite yes.”
Kevin and his wife Gemma have even grander plans: “We will start planning next month and we are going to have a 100-mile event too.
“I’m thinking of extending it towards Sherburn and Durham.”