RIDERS from Knutsford are invited to saddle up for a cycling challenge to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK this autumn.

The UK Wide Cycle Ride runs throughout the 31 days of October.

It is an opportunity for people to take their fitness up a gear, while raising money for lifesaving research.

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The charity also strives to ensure that everyone living with the condition gets the care and support they need.

Cyclists can select three virtual distances to pick from or set their own goal.

TV consumer journalist Dominic Littlewood has been living with type 1 diabetes since he was 10 and is encouraging people to get on their bikes.

The presenter said: “The great thing about the UK Wide Cycle Ride is not only can you raise money for a really important cause and support the work Diabetes UK does, but you can take part however suits you.

“Pick a distance that’s going to challenge you, but also feels achievable.”

Clare Howarth, head of the north of England at Diabetes UK, said: “Cycling is a brilliant way to help you get fit and healthy, while having fun and setting yourself a challenge.

“So this October, connect your Strava and complete a virtual distance between two UK cities, on the road, in the gym or in the comfort of your own home.”

The distances cyclists can choose are 150 miles: London to Nottingham or about five miles a day, 300 miles: Exeter to Manchester or about nine and a half miles a day or 500 miles: Edinburgh to Brighton or about 16 miles a day.

Everyone taking part will get their own fundraising profile page.

From there, it will be possible to connect your Strava or log your rides manually.

Riders can join a Facebook group where event ambassadors and challengers discuss their progress and share tips.

There are fundraising incentives, too, with anyone raising £35 or more receiving a medal.

Diabetes UK-branded cycling jerseys and caps will go to anyone raising £150 and £300 respectively.

To register for the UK Wide Cycle Ride, visit cycle.diabetes.org.uk.

There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship.