The parents of murdered MP Jo Cox have said they are “truly amazed” at the record number of cyclists taking part in a 288-mile ride to remember their daughter.
A total of 75 riders, aged from 18 to 76, will cycle from Yorkshire to London in five days next week and organisers say this is the biggest turnout yet for the annual Jo Cox Way ride.
The event, which is in its seventh year, aims to keep the former Batley & Spen Labour MP’s legacy alive by flying the flag for community spirit and supporting causes that were important to her, the team said.
Her parents, Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, said; “We are truly amazed at the record number of riders for this year’s event.
“It just seems to go from strength to strength.
“The ride has proved hugely successful in previous years – it encapsulates totally Jo’s principles of fairness, respect and community cohesion and we cannot think of a better way to showcase her ‘More in Common’ values.”
Mrs Cox’s sister Kim Leadbeater, who won a by-election last year in her sister’s old seat, has taken part in every ride since 2016.
She said: “The last two years have been tough for us all, with so many people affected by Covid, lockdowns and the cost of living.
“Despite all this, it’s brilliant to see people’s commitment to making a difference has grown stronger, with cyclists joining together for a seventh time to celebrate the fact that we have ‘far more in common than that which divides us’ – words from Jo’s maiden speech in Parliament.”
The Jo Cox Way was started in 2016 by North Yorkshire businessman and keen cyclist Sarfraz Mian.
The mixed ability cyclists will set off on Wednesday July 27 from the Princess Mary Stadium in Cleckheaton, in the constituency, and ride to Buxton in Derbyshire.
The riders will arrive in London on Sunday July 31, with further overnight stops in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, Milton Keynes and Uxbridge.
Mr Mian said: “It’s fantastic that in our seventh year we have more riders than ever.
“Times are tough, but we want to do our bit to bring business to local hotels, cafes and pubs as we cycle from the place Jo loved most to where she worked, in London.
“I never met Jo but her determination to create a fairer, kinder world for all really touched me in 2016 and is more relevant than ever now.”
Organisers say all the places for this year’s ride are now taken but cyclists can join for a day or part of a day by registering at www.letsride.co.uk/rides/the-jo-cox-way-2022-day-1-part-2-horbury-bridge-to-buxton
Anyone wishing to sponsor the riders can go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/thejocoxway2022.