MP gets on his bike for tour

wet  Alec�Shelbrooke MP, Mayor Cindy Bentley and cyclists in Wetherby Market Place.  (120331M1)
wet Alec�Shelbrooke MP, Mayor Cindy Bentley and cyclists in Wetherby Market Place. (120331M1)

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke joined local cyclists for a ten-mile bike ride around the area to help raise £200 for Collingham-based charity Lee’s Smile and to better understand problems faced by cyclist.

The chain gang were waved off by Mayor Cindy Bentley from Market Square after receiving free fruit from Wetherby grocer, Mike Johnson.

Mr Shelbrooke said he was joined by over 30 cyclists from around the Elmet & Rothwell constituency on a ten mile route passing Collingham, Boston Spa, Thorp Arch and Walton.

Refreshments were served in Thorp Arch courtesy of The Pax Public House where cyclists had a chance to quiz Mr Shelbrooke and Wetherby Councillor Gerald Wilkinson on local cycling issues.

On completing the ride, Mr Shelbrooke said: “Although gruelling in parts, the bike ride has been a great way for me to understand the concerns of local cyclists.

“In addition, we raised £200 for a fantastic local charity and met some really great people.”

Lee’s Smile was established in memory of Lee Johnson, a Collingham student victim of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.

Lee’s parents Simon and Vicky Johnson and his sister Becky launched the charity in February at a spectacular Ball held at Elland Road raising over £50,000.

Simon Johnson said: “The pain of losing a child is something no parent should be subject to. 

“Having just landed his dream job coaching soccer in the USA, Lee went to bed on December 12th 2010 a happy guy, but never woke up.

“Sudden Unexpected Death from Epilepsy had claimed another victim.

“We’re determined that Lee didn’t die in vain, and since his death have campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of Epilepsy, as well as raising funds for research into this terrible condition.

“Our MP, Alec Shelbrooke, has supported us from the start of our campaign, and we’re delighted that he’s raised further funds for our charity by participating in this bike ride.”