A CHARITY champion is getting in gear for a bike ride through China in memory of her mum.
Amy Clarke will be saddling up for an eight-day trek through the province of Beijing in September, having already smashed her fundraising target.
The mother of three, now living in Edinburgh after moving there from Lawe Road in South Shields, needed to raise £3,200 to tackle the gruelling challenge, and has already collected £4,800, with weeks still to spare.
Mrs Clarke was determined to take part in the 450km ride, in aid of three cancer charities, after her mum, Margaret Pentland, lost her battle with ovarian cancer in October 2012.
The 39-year-old is now aiming to hit the £5,000 milestone before she takes part in the Women v Cancer cycle ride from September 5 to September 13.
She has organised a host of fundraising activities over the last year, including a 24-hour static bike ride, a ladies’ pampering night, a Calendar Girls-style photoshoot and a masquerade ball at the Roker Hotel in Sunderland.
Those events, along with donations to her online Just Giving page, have helped her far exceed her expectations.
Mrs Clarke said: “I have now raised £4,800, and donations are still coming in. People have been so generous.
“If we can get more than £5,000 by the time I take part in the bike ride, that would be fantastic.”
With the gruelling bike ride now just weeks away, Mrs Clarke is training hard to reach peak fitness.
She added: “I can’t believe there are now just a few weeks to go. I am cycling every day, completing 30 miles.”
Of the £3,200 target set, half is used to pay for flights and accommodation to the Far East, with the rest going to the three cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
Mrs Clarke will be inspired through every mile of the trip by her late mum.
Mrs Clarke said: “She was an amazing, strong woman and, at 63, lost her fight with ovarian cancer, leaving behind four children and eight grandchildren.
“She touched so many lives. She was respected and loved by so many people, and every person she met was left with a lasting loving memory.”
The Women v Cancer cycle ride will take in a stretch of the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/Margaretpentland