Hundreds of north-east cyclists put their feet down over the weekend to raise funds for armed forces veterans.
The 73-mile Methlick Cycle Challenge took place yesterday with more than 120 entrants using pedal power to collect cash for the local Legion Scotland branch.
Riders pushed themselves to the limit over a route which began at Ballater’s Deeside Inn, taking in both the Deeside and Formartine and Buchan Way railway lines, and finished up at the Ythanview Hotel.
This year organisers offered a shorter route which allowed participants to join at Dyce.
Last night, the cycle challenge organising committee said there had been a surge in popularity for the event since the inaugural one last year.
Boyd Ross, liaison officer for the committee, said: “The event was pretty basic last year, I’d say there were about three times as many cyclists this year.
“Last year we didn’t offer the smaller route, which I think attracted more people this time.
“Folk were saying they liked the combination of forestry tracks and the old railway lines.”
All money raised from registration fees and sponsorship will go towards the Legion Scotland branch.
As well as the importance of the fundraising aspect, Mr Ross said the event gave people the opportunity to see a side of Aberdeenshire they might never have experienced before.
He said: “I’m just keen on getting folk out on bikes, the younger the better, in a safe environment.
“It’s a bonus of course that we have got such lovely countryside here.
“You’re seeing bits and pieces of the area that you don’t normally see if you are in cars.”
And Mr Ross said it was heartening to see so many people signing up for the first time.
“We had lots of first-timers this year, which is great,” he added.
“I would hope to get 200 or so next time.”
For more information on the event, visit www.methlickchallenge.wix.com.