Zara and Mike Tindall take to the saddle to launch charity bike ride

Zara and Mike Tindall hopped on to bicycles to launch a charity ride raising awareness and funds for ocean conservation.

The couple set off on the first leg of the Blue Marine Foundation’s (Blue) third annual London-to-Monaco cycle ride, pedalling from Herne Hill Velodrome in south London to Dover.

They joined more than 100 cyclists who are taking part in the seven-day challenge that aims to raise funds to help Blue’s aim of protecting vast tracts of the world’s oceans.

The couple are keen sailors and have developed a great respect for the seas.

The Queen’s granddaughter said: “Our oceans are constantly under threat and it’s for that reason that we are joining 100 brave cyclists in raising awareness around vital marine conservation projects like Blue’s so that they can receive the funding and support they need.”

Tindall, a former England rugby star, said: “Both myself and Zara believe its really important to help protect the oceans for our children and future generations to enjoy.

“Today, we’ll be getting on our bikes to help Blue raise awareness for their fantastic conservation projects. The first leg is certainly going to be a challenge but we’re hoping our competitive streak will help us through.”

Mike and Zara Tindall lead the start of the ride at Herne Hill
Mike and Zara Tindall lead the start of the ride at Herne Hill

Blue was established in 2010 and is dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing.

The charity has helped protect four million square kilometres of ocean, and this year funds will go towards supporting key projects like the Mediterranean rollout of locally managed protected areas.

Its mission is the active and effective protection of 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020 and 30% by 2030.