FORTY cyclists arrived in London on Sunday after pedalling from Liversedge in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.
Her sister Kim Leadbeater was among those on the fourth annual Jo Cox Way bike ride, founded to celebrate the late MP’s passion for people and communities.
Miss Leadbeater said the annual event is now more important than ever, citing increasing divisions in UK society.
“In the last three years the toxicity of the discourse in public life and the anger and frustration across the country has definitely got worse,” she said.
“That makes rides like this and activities like this even more important.”
The cyclists were met at the end of their route in Southwark by Jo’s parents, Gordon and Jean Leadbeater, along with members of the Jo Cox Foundation and MPs from the area.
Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt was among the group of cyclists who made the journey and he spoke about the range of emotions he felt when arriving in London.
“On the final day we rode as a group, there was the euphoria of people stopping to take pictures and the poignancy of pedalling past the Houses of Parliament,” he said.
“Seeing people who finished a hard ride over tough terrain, in some of the hottest temperatures we’ve known, was very emotional; it was amazing.”
One stage of the journey was marred, however, as three support vans accompanying the riders were broken into overnight in Milton Keynes.
Coun Bolt said: “One or two people’s property was taken, supplies for the next day etc.
“Looking at the way the vehicles were attacked it was not random. It was reported on social media that it’s something that’s becoming more common.”
But the incident did not affect the group, who completed their five-day journey and raised thousands of pounds for the Jo Cox Foundation.
“It’s about providing a legacy for Jo Cox,” said Mr Bolt. “Hopefully the funding can help the charity to continue its work.”