CYCLISTS celebrated a milestone moment in their fundraising mission for a much-loved hospice.

Scores of riders from Oxford Cycling Club (OCC) have handed their first cheque to Sobell House, just months after they pledged to support the Headington charity.

Members gathered at their base at Ubyk bike shop in Abingdon Road, South Oxford, last month to present £500 worth of donations – and their fundraising total has since crept closer to £1,000.

Dave Nash was among members who founded OCC last year after another Oxford cycling club, Zappi's, disbanded.

The 50-year-old, who lives off Abingdon Road, said: "I suggested at an early point to raise money for Sobell, so the club could give something back to the local community.

"Fundraising is ongoing but it's approaching £1,000, which has been raised through club subscriptions, sale of our kits and events put on at the cycling shop.

"A small proportion of everything goes to Sobell House.

"We only have 25 members so far, so it's amazing how it all racks up."

The freelance writer also has a personal connection to the hospice, which provides specialist care to people with life-limiting conditions.

He said: "My connection to Sobell started in 2010 when I cycled from Oxford to Paris with a dozen others.

"I was supporting Sobell because a neighbour of mine sadly died of cancer in 2009, and was cared for at Sobell.

"It's a well-known charity and an institution that a lot of people have a connection with."

Sobell House runs a variety of bike rides to encourage fundraisers to challenge themselves for charity, including an upcoming London to Paris trip in July and even an exotic cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia next year.

Mr Nash encouraged other people to join OCC, which meets at Ubyk every Saturday morning, if they want to show their support for the hospice whilst enjoying social events.

He added: "There are some very good clubs in Oxford and we are not unique in raising money for charity.

"But we are trying to be a bit different and do a lot more social events and trips away, to mix things up from just meeting once a week."

Last week Ubyk staff transformed the shop, opposite Cowmead allotments, into an Italian 'restaurant' stocked with wines, beers and food.

The themed night marked the climax of the Italian cycling the Giro d’Italia, and supported Sobell through ticket sales and a raffle.

Anyone interested in joining the club can call Ubyk on 01865 596112.