More than 70 Jo Cox Way riders complete 288-mile journey to London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, greeted more than 70 cyclists on Sunday as they completed the mammoth 288-mile journey from Cleckheaton to London.

By Jessica Barton
Monday, 1st August 2022, 2:30 pm

The riders were finishing The Jo Cox Way, an annual five-day bike ride to remember the former MP for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, who was murdered in 2016.

Cyclists aged 18 to 76 took part in the cycling challenge, the highest turnout ever for the event, which is now in its seventh year.

The riders set off from Cleckheaton on Wednesday and crossed the finish line in Flat Iron Square in Southwark on Sunday afternoon.

The Jo Cox Way cyclists where greeted in London at the end of their five-day ride from West Yorkshire by Kim Leadbeater MP; her parents, Jean and Gordon; and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Mark Hemingway, a first time rider from Mirfield, cycled the route on behalf of his friend from Ravensthorpe Cycling Club, Alastair Megahy, who died of a heart attack.

Mark said: “It was really good, I am still buzzing now.

“I was riding for Alastair and it was all positive really. I thought of him and talked about him along the way, with many different people who had met him over the other years.

“I was there for him and riding it for him on his behalf - he would have loved it.

“I now understand why he did the cycle with these people because they were just like Alastair really.

“There was a lot of compassion and help from all the riders. Everyone pulled each other along, it was brilliant.

“There was no negativity whatsoever and we were all one big team no matter what ability you had.

“I am definitely riding again next year, that's it for me, every year I am going to be doing this now without a doubt.”

The oldest of the cyclists, 76-year-old Kath Lyons from Keighley, was jubilant after her epic journey, which also involved climbing more than 15,000 feet.

Kath said: “Age is just a number. I don’t feel 76; cycling makes you feel young.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy; it was very very hard, especially getting up some of those hills. But having friends like I’ve made on this ride, you can’t help feeling young.”

The ride aims to keep Jo Cox’s legacy alive by flying the flag for community spirit and projects she championed.

Having cycled the Jo Cox Way in previous years, Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, the current MP for Batley and Spen, joined the support team for this year's event.

Ms Leadbeater said: “Jo believed passionately that we have more in common than that which divides us, and it’s fantastic to see more cyclists than ever; of all ages, from so many different communities from Yorkshire and beyond; getting together to make sure that

message is heard loud and clear.”

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Record number of cyclists set off on the Jo Cox Way Bike Ride to Westminster