It’s a long way from West Yorkshire to Westminster.

But it’s no challenge to these lot, who are taking on the gruelling 260-mile journey to the Houses of Parliament in memory of MP Jo Cox.

The Jo Cox Way bike ride got off to a flying start today morning, as the community – and a few familiar faces – assembled at the starting line at the Princess Mary playing fields in Liversedge.

The Batley and Spen MP’s sister Kim Leadbeater led from the front, along with Mirfield-based Tour de France legend Brian Robinson who is 85.

Start of Jo Cox Way cycle ride from Princess Mary Stadium, Cleckheaton - Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater.

And in a real show of spirit, 96-year-old World War Two veteran Franklin Medhurst also got saddled up.

The atmosphere buzzed as cyclists of all ages joined forces, with as many as 150 expected to take part in the four-day journey.

War hero Franklin rode a specially-made bicycle after having lost a leg below the knee.

He and Brian are cycling day one of the route, which finishes in Birchover, Derbyshire, while a core of 20 cyclists are biking the entire route with others joining in for different parts.

Franklin said: “It was my experience of World War Two where so many gave their lives for a better world.

“They would be shocked to find that several generations later we have such great inequalities in this country.

“Jo Cox understood this and campaigned in war zones and other parts of the world to change this.”

He added: “I’ve always cycled and at one time did up to 200 miles a day.”

Inspired by Jo’s “zest for life”, the cycle has been organised by Sarfraz Mian, who said the ride was “our tribute to her life.”

Kirklees Mayor Clr Jim Dodds attended to see off the riders, along with Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff.

Brian Robinson, who was the first Briton to win a stage of the Tour de France, also got into gear.

The cycling legend said: “I was involved with Jo in a club encouraging children to ride. She was a straightforward person – what you saw was what you got.”

Jo Cox
Jo Cox

The sponsored cycle is supporting Jo’s chosen charities, including HOPE Not Hate and the Royal Voluntary Service.

To donate go to

Jo died in June after being attacked outside a surgery she was holding in Birstall.

Thomas Mair, 52, from Birstall, is charged with murder and will appear for trial at the Old Bailey in November.