A MOUNTAIN bike challenge which raises vital funds for a hospice is returning next month.

The event, in aid of Manorlands, like many others fell victim to the pandemic last year.

But the Bronte Mountain Bike Challenge ­– the 16th – is back.

And it is hoped that Team GB’s mountain-biking success in the Tokyo Olympics will inspire more people to saddle-up.

The challenge – which takes place on Sunday, September 19 – offers a choice of several Bronte-themed routes, catering for cyclists of all abilities.

The Heathcliff route is the longest ­– at 36.1 miles, with a 4,509ft cumulative climb.

It is followed by Charlotte (27.7 miles) and Emily (22.2 miles).

The shortest route is the Anne, at 12.6 miles, which is recommended for families and relative beginners.

The challenge, which is organised by the Manorlands cycling events fundraising group and jointly sponsored by All Terrain Cycles and Pure Property Lettings, starts and finishes at Oxenhope recreation ground.

All proceeds go to the Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice.

More than 200 cyclists took part in the last challenge, in 2019, together raising over £9,000.

Organisers say there is no obligation for entrants to fundraise, but that any money which they do raise will help the hospice to continue providing palliative care, advice and support for people with life-limiting conditions.

Participants who raise £50 or more will be entered into a draw to win a mystery prize donated by All Terrain Cycles.

Andrew Wood, community fundraising manager at Manorlands, said: “This is always a popular event and we’re so excited to welcome riders back to the start line again after last year’s challenge had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

“There are routes suitable for all standards of mountain bike riders, so we hope lots of people will have been inspired by Team GB’s recent success in the Olympics and will saddle-up and raise money to ensure we can continue to be there when it matters.”

Everyone who takes part in the event will receive a cycling water bottle donated by Pure Property Lettings and a hot meal at the finish line.

For further information and to sign-up, visit sueryder.org/brontemtb.

Manorlands supports patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families at the hospice and in the community, across an area covering Craven, Airedale and Wharfedale as well as parts of Bradford.

All services are free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs £10,000 a day to keep the hospice doors open.

Only a small part of the cost is covered by statutory funds.

Most of the funds have to be raised through voluntary donations.

Like other charities, Sue Ryder has lost considerable revenue during the pandemic.