A MUM-of-four is gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime that will also remember fallen soldiers of the First World War.
Barbara Raymond, 47, from Stanmore, Winchester, will ride 340 miles from Brussels to Paris as part of the Big Battlefield Bike Ride in June.
Around 300 cyclists, both able-bodied and wounded service personnel, will take on the challenge that stops off at different memorials and battlegrounds along the way.
The taxi driver will ride in aid of Help for Heroes, a charity that remains close to her heart after growing up with a close relationship with her grandfather, who worked alongside Gurkha soldiers as a Chindit in Burma during the Second World War.
“My grandad was an absolute hero,” she said.
“My grandparents brought me up with the whole mindset that there is nothing in this world that we can’t do if we are determined to do it. I always say that if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing.”
In a bizarre twist of fate, she now lives on Wavell Way, which was named after General Archibald Wavell, one of the creators of the Chindit regiment in which her grandfather served.
Barbara recently raised £449 towards her £2,600 target with a fundraiser at Sainsbury’s in Badger Farm. She said: “People were incredibly friendly because it’s a local charity and there is a lot of history of the military in and around Winchester. I was really pleased.”
The fundraising continues, with Ms Raymond training hard for the mammoth adventure.
“I work in my taxi, come home, go on my bike for an hour and then have a shower, eat dinner, and go back to work. I’m just fitting everything in.”
The “supermum” will also be holding a raffle amongst family and friends.