MORE than 100 cyclists are taking to the road to raise funds for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Fund.
The peloton of women tackling the tough 150-mile route will go through Portsmouth, Havant, Chichester and Brighton.
To see how big the charity has grown to is amazing.Gemma Glenton
The fundraiser was set up by Gemma Glenton who has been working for the charity for four years.
They are looking to raise more than £40,000 to purchase a new caravan so families with ill children can have a break.
Gemma said: ‘The response has been amazing. To see how big the charity has grown to is amazing.
‘After helping out for such a long time, I found out my son had a brain tumour a year ago, so it’s almost like it was fate I am helping them.’
The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation was set up by Lorraine and Dave Waterman in memory of their son who passed away 10 years ago.
It gives families with children who have life-threatening illnesses some respite.
This year the charity has recruited support from the British Cycling Association and is being welcomed back in a closing ceremony at the HMS Sultan Summer Show, this Saturday at 4pm.
Last year 58 riders carried out the journey raising £20,000.
Gemma added: ‘Within 24 hours of the race finishing last year we had 150 woman sign up for the race this year.’
Lorraine, who will be cycling for the fourth year, said she was proud of the women.
‘I’m amazingly proud and even thinking about what sacrifices the other ladies have made to take part brings a tear to my eye,’ she said.
‘I can’t thank HMS Sultan enough for letting us be one of their charities this year and to the woman who have put their own families aside to train is incredible.’
Former Pompey player Dave added: ‘It’s fantastic.
‘The community – as well as people across the country who are now part of Oak’s Army – are getting behind us and it’s given us the drive to keep carrying on.
‘To see everyone want to support Oakley’s legacy and his wishes is incredible.’
To support The Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation visit the website theoakleycaravanfoundation.org.