A NEWPORT woman is taking on a 100km night-time bike challenge next month to raise money for cancer charities.

Christine Smith, of Llanwern, is 61-years-old and will be one of 2,000 women cycling 100km through the streets of London on May 31. The 100km night cycle is for Women V Cancer, which benefits three women’s cancer charities – Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Mrs Smith has cycled for years, but got into it more seriously about seven years ago, before her first challenge for Action for Charity, which was a 450km ride in Cuba six years ago.

“Then I kind of got the bug,” she admits.

She has since completed cycle challenges in China and Kenya.

She said: “I am now 61 so it is good for my mind, body and spirit. The main reason I cycle is because the challenge is there. Sometimes you have got to push yourself a little bit further. As soon as you say to someone I’m going to do this, you have to. That’s the motivation. But I do it because I can.

“I think the hard work is actually doing the fundraising.”

Mrs Smith, who used to work as a nurse, lost her father to lung cancer six years ago.

“He was one of the main motivations,” she said. “He was so proud when I said I was going to Cuba. But he died six months before I went.”

She said cycling now helps her to relax at difficult times. She said: “My husband is undergoing tests for a cancer-related illness at the moment which is quite stressful, so getting out gives me the chance to get away from it and get my own head together. It’s a good way to relax.”

In training for the London ride, Mrs Smith has cycled around the wetlands, Nash and Caldicot. She is currently riding at least three times a week.

She said: “It’s a good way of keeping fit and seeing where you live.

“I’m quite excited about it now.”

This will be Mrs Smith’s first time cycling in London and first time cycling at night. She is aiming to complete the ride in seven hours, including breaks and stops.

Mrs Smith has already raised more than £200, but if you would like to donate, go to http://www.justgiving.com/Christine-Smith53