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Scores of cyclists last night took to the roads in an emotional tribute to bike champion John Radford.

John, 70, of Meltham, suffered brain damage when he came off his bike in New Mill a year ago.

On the first anniversary, friends and supporters met up in St George’s Square, Huddersfield, for a six-mile ride to New Mill.

Up to 200 riders, led by John’s daughters Helen Gorman, 31, and Emma Boyes, 28, set off to raise awareness of the dangers posed to cyclists.

The riders were sent on their way by Tour de France veteran Brian Robinson, of Mirfield, who was hurt after a collision with a car while out on his bike.

Brian, 83, suffered a fractured collarbone, six broken ribs, a punctured lung and deep lacerations to his arm.

Brian was struck by a VW Passat in Thornhill Lees as he made his way home on his own after a ride with pals.

John’s daughter Helen, of Crosland Hill, said the ride proved very emotional and added: “We had tears even before we started.

“It’s unbelievable that it’s a year since my dad went out on his bike for his last ride. We just want to raise awareness of how vulnerable cyclists are.

 

“There are massive campaigns like Think Bike for motorbikes and warnings about horses on the roads but bikes hardly get a look in.

“People think cyclists don’t deserve to be on the road but they have as much right as anyone else.”

Ironically, John – chairman of Huddersfield cycling group CTC – had lobbied West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson shortly before he was injured calling for better investigation of collisions involving cyclists.

Brian, the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France in 1958, was a Tour ambassador for the Grand Depart this year.

He described John as a “lovely man”. John is in rehabilitation at a specialist centre in York.

Clr Martyn Bolt, who organised the ride with members of John’s family, said: “It went very well.

“There was great support once more from the cycling community and I know John’s family appreciated it.

“John’s wife Pat turned up as did his daughters Helen and Emma and they were delighted with the support.

“We had a great ride out to New Mill and there was a collection for Headway, the brain injury charity”.

The riders were sent on their way by Huddersfield-born Tour de France veteran Brian Robinson, who is himself recovering from injuries sustained in a cycle accident.

Clr Bolt said there was likely to be a boom in cycling in the wake of the huge success of the Tour de France and he hoped safety would be a prime consideration.

“We need it to be reflected from both sides.

“Drivers will hopefully see more cyclists on the roads and get to know about them.

“Equally, people on their cycles must show awareness of the traffic around them and accept that every time they go out they must remain alert and not think it’s always a relaxing ride”.