A total of 75 riders, aged from 18 to 76, will cycle 288 miles in five days from Yorkshire to London.
This is the biggest turnout yet for the annual Jo Cox Way ride, now in its seventh year, which aims to keep the former Batley and Spen MP’s legacy alive by flying the flag for community spirit and supporting causes that were important to her.
The Jo Cox Way was started in 2016 by North Yorkshire businessman and keen cyclist, Sarfraz Mian.
Jo’s mum and dad, 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.
“For us as a family, Jo is always in our thoughts but events like The Jo Cox Way highlight for us the impact she has had for many other individuals and communities.
“We would like to thank Sarfraz and his team for the tremendously hard work they put into staging the ride, and also the riders, support crews and sponsors who make it all possible. Thank you all for sharing Jo’s vision.”
The mixed ability cyclists will set off on Wednesday, July 27, from the Princess Mary Stadium in Cleckheaton and ride to Buxton in Derbyshire.
The riders will arrive in London on Sunday, July 31, following overnight stops in Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, Milton Keynes and Uxbridge.
Kim Leadbeater MP, who was elected to represent her sister’s old constituency last year and has taken part in every ride since 2016, said: “The Jo Cox Way ride is a great chance for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to connect and engage with one another.
“The last two years have been tough for us all, with so many people affected by Covid-19, lockdowns and the increasing 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.”
Sarfraz said: “It’s fantastic that in our seventh year we have more riders than ever.
“Some are taking part for the first time, some are experienced cyclists who’ll help them along, but I’m sure they’ll all form lasting friendships with people of different ages, from different communities, through an amazing shared experience.
“Times are tough, but we want to do our bit to bring business to local hotels, cafés 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.”
All the places for this year’s ride from Yorkshire to London are now taken, but cyclists can join for a day or part of a day by registering here;
Anyone wishing to sponsor the riders can donate using the Jo Cox Way’s fundraising page; https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/thejocoxway2022