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Hundreds of keen cyclists expected at Otley Sportive
Hundreds of cyclists of all abilities are expected to take part in a fun-focused event in Otley this weekend.
The 2013 Otley Sportive, which features three routes of different lengths through Wharfedale, takes place on Saturday.
The organisers are hoping to build on the success of last year, when hundreds of people took part and more than £2,000 was raised for local charities.
Otley Sportive organiser Luke Minshall, who says the event’s ethos is all about “having fun, not egos” is looking forward to another busy day.
He said: “With the passing of Le Tour de France for 2013 the focus is really on Yorkshire to provide a hub of cycling glory.
“This year we already have more cyclists signed up than last time, making this event our biggest ever.
“We believe we have some of the best cycling routes Yorkshire has to offer, and offer three routes to make our event available to anyone with a bike who fancies a ride.
“We have a 12-mile route for families and those riders wanting something shorter. Riding from Otley to Ilkley and back, this route has one major hill both ways but is also ideal for beginners.
“Then we have a 38-mile ride which takes in three beautiful loops of Yorkshire heading towards Pateley Bridge and back – but before getting to the tops you have to climb the infamous Norwood Edge.
“And our 70-miler takes in some fantastic climbs and offers riders a ‘rolling ride’ but don’t take the rolls lightly the ride starts off with a 700ft climb.”
Each route will begin from the Bridge Church, on Bridge Street, and entry fees from this year’s event will raise money for the church’s Scout Group and Leeds Mencap. Returning riders will all be welcomed back with tea, coffee and cake.
For more details about Otley Sportive, which costs £12 to enter, and is sponsored by Chevin Cycles Ltd, NOAD suncream, Yorkshire Tea, BHP Mitchell Accountants, and Moon Room, visit otleysportive.co.uk.
Otley’s MP, meanwhile, is calling on the Government to provide enough funding to promote safe cycling across the country.
Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) was speaking in a debate last week following the publication of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s report, Get Britain Cycling.
He was joined in the public gallery by constituents Joseph Cullen, who helps cyclists concerned about venturing onto the roads by taking them around the streets of Otley until they feel more confident.
Mr Mulholland said: “As a Leeds MP I’m looking forward to next year’s Tour de France, which is starting in the city centre before making its way through the towns, villages and countryside of Yorkshire.
“The case for cycling is now irrefutable. It is a great way to get people moving and is one of the most sustainable ways to travel.
“However, we need to make sure our transport infrastructure can promote cycling and protect cyclists.
“We also need to encourage people to feel comfortable cycling in their local area. I want to recognise the fantastic work that Joseph Cullen does in Otley to help people feel safe on a bike.”
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