Cyclists wanting to test their mettle and help a good cause at the same time are gearing up for a demanding annual contest next month.

This year’s Bronte Mountain Bike Challenge, in aid of Sue Ryder Manorlands hospice at Oxenhope, will take place on September 22.

The event features three routes, which are named after the Bronte sisters as they travel through the same landscape that inspired their world-famous novels.

All three of the rides start at Oxenhope Recreation Ground and are signposted and provided with refreshment points.

Sue Ryder fundraiser Andrew Wood said: “The challenge has been going for nine years. Entry for this year’s rides is now open and in terms of numbers of entrants, we’re already ahead of where we’d normally be at this point.

“We expect more entries to come in over the next month and there is an ‘early bird’ offer which ends on September 1, which means riders get £5 off the entry price.”

The toughest of the three routes is called the ‘Charlotte’. It is described as a 26-mile “extreme challenge” which takes in a notorious stretch known as the ‘stairs’ and goes over the moors to Widdop, Worsthorne, and back via a new section of the Pennine Bridleway.

‘Emily’ is an intermediate route of 21 miles, while ‘Anne’ is a beginner’s ride of 11 miles and is suitable for families and younger children.

A Sue Ryder spokesman said: “All participants receive a medal and a well-earned complementary hot meal at the finish.”

For information on how to register, go to the website and click on the Ride for Ryder section under the Get Involved heading. People can also contact (01535) 640176.