CYCLISTS from Didcot are preparing to ride more than 50 miles along The Ridgeway in memory of 10-year-old road crash victim Freddie Perry.
Richard Williams, Zak Corderoy, Rick Field, Jason Major and Tim Powell are setting off on Saturday at 7.30am to ride a 53-mile circular route and plan to finish at the town’s Wheatsheaf pub at 3pm.
They have already raised £1,200 for a road safety campaign launched by Freddie’s parents, Lea and Judith Perry, after their son’s death on September 10 last year.
Organiser Mr Williams, whose daughter Bethany was friends with Freddie, said: “Most of the cycle ride is going to be off-road and probably quite hard going.
“All the money we’re raising is to go to the family to make the road safer.”
Freddie died as a result of injuries he sustained in a collision with a car near his home in Oxford Crescent.
Mr Perry said: “We just don’t want anybody to go through what we’re going through.
“We have been campaigning down here for years about getting the speed down. We’re doing it in Freddie’s name, so his life that was taken will not have been wasted.”
Mr Perry described his son as loving and kind-hearted.
He said: “We are not going to stop here. We are going to keep fighting in every way we can.”
The couple are also fundraising for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital and the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Jason Major, a Thames Water engineer from Didcot, stressed the importance of making sure the roads in Didcot were improved.
Mr Major’s son Harry, 13, goes to St Birinus School in the town.
He said of the accident which claimed Freddie’s life: “It was devastating. I couldn’t believe it when it happened.
“I’m a keen cyclist anyway. We do quite a few rides, but this is the longest one I have done.”
St Birinus School pupil Zak Corderoy, 14, from Blewbury, said: “I’m quite nervous, but I’m really looking forward to it. After what happened, I think the roads in Didcot should be safer.”
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said: “The county council has been working with Mrs Perry, the local county councillor and local community to find a suitable safety solution on Oxford Crescent.
“We believe that it will be possible to provide some safety measures in Oxford Crescent.
“We have had some informal discussions with the local community and are still discussing what would be the right solution.”
Stephen Freeman Community Primary School in Didcot will be installing a stained glass window on Friday in memory of Freddie.