JUST under 250 people – many dressed as dalmatians – took part in a bike ride from Brecon to Caerleon on Saturday afternoon to raise money for a Newport-based hospice.

The third annual St David’s Hospice Care Dalmatian Bike Ride finished at The Priory after 249 riders completed the 45-mile journey.

The event was established in by keen cyclist Dave Rees, from St Julians In Newport, in memory of his father-in-law, John Dixon, who was cared for at St Anne’s Hospice.

The Dalmatian bike ride was named when it was suggested it might have 101 riders – and adopted from the book and film 101 Dalmatians, riders were sent out in black and white spotted T-shirts.

And Mr Dixon’s grandson Grant Dixon said many of the riders turned out in his grandfather’s memory.

Mr Dixon said of the ride, which he completed with his brother Lewis: “It was hard work but we did finish pretty quickly.”

Riders rode along a canal towpath from Brecon which was muddy after heavy rainfall on Saturday morning, and had to make a diversion in Llanfoist when a landslide blocked off part of their original route.

In the first year of the race, riders completed a route of ten hospitals in South Wales.

Last year they completed the Taff Trail, and this year’s route will kept again next year, Mr Rees said.

And he said he was hoping for 500 riders to complete the ride for the charity next time.

Around 30 riders completed the ride from Evans Electrical in Cardiff, after a colleague, Kerry Edwards, died in March from leukaemia and was cared for by the charity.

An organiser from the hospice, Tania Ansell, said: “It’s been a very successful event and there’s lots of emotive stories here from people who have done the ride.”

A buffet, band and DJ played at the St Julian Inn for people who completed the ride on Saturday evening.