CYCLISTS came together this weekend to pay their respects to a man who was the heart and soul of their community.

Around 60 cyclists took to the New Forest roads to pay tribute to Totton man Martin Turner, after his body was found by police.

The event was organised by his former club Nieuw Bos Cycling Club – which means New Forest in Flemish.

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They embarked on a “suggested” 70-mile route looping around the national park with some meeting at The Gamekeeper in Woodlands and others at Café Velo in Ringwood.

Taking place on both Saturday and Sunday their aim was to raise as much money as possible for Pedall, which aims to promote and provide cycling as an inclusive activity.

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Nieuw Bos chairman, AJ Williams, 46, said: “We’ve organised a ride this weekend in memory of our ex-chairman Martin Turner who sadly passed away in August.”

The workshop controller from Totton jokingly described his friend as Northern and smiling.

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AJ added: “He’s been an inspiration to me. The most encouraging person that I’ve met in terms of cycling and just life in general.”

Ross Mendenhall had travelled all the way from Northampton to take part.

He said: “I think it was important to pay respect to a great guy who was part of the cycling scene in this area.

“It was well worth the trip. We used to ride together for many years.”

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With members of Nieuw Bos, Sotonia Cycling Club and Hargroves Cycles Cycling Club taking part, riders were urged to be responsible, observe coronavirus rules and respect social distancing.

Riders set off in groups of six and at four-minute intervals.

As previously reported, Martin went missing after leaving his home to go for a ride.

An extensive police search was launched for the 54-year-old, with fellow cyclists joining the hunt to find him.

However, his body was found by police near Dorset’s Old Harry Rocks on Sunday, August 16.

To donate in his memory visit the Pedall website.