THOUSANDS of cyclists rode up to 65 miles through the Essex countryside in the London to Southend Bike Ride.

Cyclists on everything from fold-up bikes to professional road bikes and muddymountain bikes rode from Victoria Park, East London, to Priory Park, Southend, for the British Heart Foundation fundraiser.

The route skirted around Billericay, Hanningfield Reservoir, Battlesbridge, Hullbridge and Stambridge before arriving at Priory Park.

Adam Jones, 47, of Barling, who was competing for the first time, said: “It was fantastic. Really, really enjoyable.

“The was a huge variety of people at the muster point, at Victoria Park.

“There were lots of ‘mamils’ like me – middle aged men in Lycra – with all the gear and proper bikes, but also people with mountain bikes, wearing track pants and a cagoule.”