A WINCHESTER man is set to ride 100 miles for charity in memory of his late wife.

Nigel Gilbert is to take part in the London Surrey 100 – a bike ride from the Olympic Village to Surrey and back, finishing at Buckingham Palace – for Breast Cancer Care after losing his wife Lesley to the disease five years ago.

The couple were together for 22 years and had two daughters, Allisia, 20, and Cherise, 23, before breast cancer claimed the life of the former Parchment Street hairdresser in August 2009 after a ten-year battle.

Mrs Gilbert owned Rembrandt hair design before giving it up to make way for chemotherapy.

Now Mr Gilbert, a mechanic, hopes to raise £2,000 for the charity.

Though Lesley wasn’t helped by Breast Cancer Care Nigel said he’s amazed at the work they do and says had he not had a big family around he’s not sure how he would’ve coped.

“We found Breast Cancer Care after she died,” he said. “We didn’t deal with them while she was ill but I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have been helped by them. We have got quite a big family on her side so we always had someone but I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened if we were on our own.

“Lesley gave [the shop] up when she was diagnosed,” he added. “She wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the therapy she was going through. She did quite well and did all the things she would normally do, we went on holiday etc.

“Unfortunately her friend also got it and died a year later which was quite a big thing for us. We were all really close and to lose them both within a year was difficult.”

Now Mr Gilbert hopes to raise as much as he can by cycling the seven hour race in August. He said: “So far I’ve raised about £1,400 and I’m hoping we’ll top the £2,000 mark by the time we do the ride.”

To donate to his cause visit the website justgiving.com/nigel-gilbert1/.