Scores of riders used plenty of pedal power to raise funds in memory of a fallen Wearside hero.
More than 200 people took part in yesterday’s Cuthy’s 200, a bike ride dedicated to Nathan Cuthbertson.
Nathan was aged just 19 when he was killed by a suicide bomber in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in June 2008.
Ever since then family and friends have held a charity bike ride to honour his memory and raise cash for worthy causes.
The team of riders cycled all the way from Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, back to Sunderland, clocking up about 60 miles.
It was originally a 200-mile bike ride, but the journey was too far for many who wanted to take part and the route was shortened.
Nathan’s dad Tom, 46, who took part in the trek, said: “What a phenomenal experience it was. Nathan would have been so proud, to see everyone turning out to take part.
“The ride was incredible, we had 20 support vehicles following us, then there was a Harley Davidson rider, who followed us too.
“We also had bagpipers playing too, the atmosphere has been simply amazing.”
Cash raised from rides in previous years has gone to good causes such as forces charity Brothers in Arms, the Salvation Army in Sunderland, the Parachute Regiment Association and the A690 Youth Project.
Sponsorships will now be collected in and the amount they’ve generated will be totalled up over the next few days,
The riders were all given a welcome return as they made their way to the finishing line at Ashbrooke Sports Club in West Lawn, where a family fun day and barbecue was being held.
Tom, who is married to Nathan’s mum Carla, 42, said: “It was so emotional to see all our friends, family and supporters there waiting for us at the end. There was quite a few grown men crying, it got to a lot of people.
“There was so much going on at the club, it was packed with people, there was a beer tents and all sorts, Nathan would have loved it.”