A group of riders have raised more than £16,000 by cycling 100km as part of a charity challenge.

The team of 67 cyclists, aged from 14 to 58, set off from Blackburn to Blackpool and back at the weekend to help raise money for victims of the Yemen war.

Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world with more than 24 million (80% of its population) in need of assistance including more than 12 million children, Unicef says.

Yasir Sufi who helped to organise the ride said: “A huge thank you to everyone who took part this weekend and to all the volunteers who helped to make this possible. It was a fantastic effort all round."

Yasir said his dad had a couple of bikes in the garage and soon enough he started cycling 30 miles.

He said: “Like everyone else over the last few months all I’ve done is raid the kitchen at any opportunity. At the start of June, 10 weeks into lockdown, I decided I’d put on enough weight and needed to do something about it.

“At the start of July I joined a few friends bike riding and Shakeel Choudhry joined us. Very soon I realised there were a lot more people who had bikes at home, who wanted to get out on their bike or were already doing so.

“We wanted to encourage more people to get out on their bike, to give them the confidence and motivation to get out and ride. I started the group Ridehiya with this in mind, to get people out on a bike. If you don’t have a bike you can hire one from someone who does.

“Then just two weeks ago, I asked a few friends if they fancied a bike ride to Blackpool and back, Shakeel suggested we do it for Yemen, and the interest just grew from there.”

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The team partnered with Abu Faisal Trust to provide food packs that would provide a family with essential food for a month. They aimed to feed 400 families by raising £10,000 but they surpassed that target quickly.

Yasir said: “We want to get more people on their bike and this is a perfect way to kick-start that and at the same time raise money for a worthy cause. The best part about cycling is it is a safe healthy activity given current circumstances where people can’t go to gyms and a lot of people have a bike at home which they wish they used more.

“We’ll be launching on August 1 with weekly rides for all ages and abilities to join. We want children and adults out on their bike with routes and rides to suit everyone."

Fayaz Bharucha who took part in the ride said, “The experience was magnificent and the ride was of course tough. But, this was primarily about us as a community, friends and family reflecting on the situation our brothers and sisters face in Yemen.

“We hope to also inspire others just like we have been inspired by our parents and many special people to do the same for those that really need our support.”

Support the group by following @ridehiya on Instagram and Facebook or donate on their gofundme page here