A YORK businessman is jubilant after a major York bike ride raised more than £140,000 for charity.

The 106 kilometre Big Bad Bike Ride in September involved 400 cyclists pedalling their way through the Wolds from York to raise money for Ataxia UK.

Graham Kennedy, owner of Inner Space Stations, who founded the event after his children were diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a neurological disorder that affects balance, coordination, and speech, originally thought this year's ride would simply beat its £80,000 target.

But he has now revealed that the final total came to £140,500 after receiving further large surprise donations, and said: "This is an amazing achievement and well beyond what I expected."

He said the money took the total raised by all the Big Bad Bike Rides combined to a 'phenomenal' £959,000, putting his £1 million target within reach, adding: "I can’t thank people enough for how well they have done on sponsorship."

He said he now planned to take a rest next year and plan a bigger and better Big Bad Bike Ride for September 10, 2016 - the 25th anniversary of the launch of the ride.

He added that he was also planning a Black Tie Dinner in the evening, for which he had provisionally booked the National Railway Museum.