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Tea and cakes after a day of being Sportive in Otley
Cycling fans of all ages and abilities flocked to Otley last weekend to enjoy the 2013 Sportive in fine sunshine.
The social event attracted hundreds of people keen to try one of the three routes – ranging from a short family ride to a 70-mile Dales challenge – on offer.
Built around an ethos of “fun, not egos”, this year’s Sportive saw participants gathering at the Bridge Church on Saturday, September 14 before setting off on their chosen ride.
Among those taking part was the leisure section of Otley Cycle Club, which took on the 38-mile, middle difficulty route.
Member Stephenie Burke said: “While the majority of the people riding this event were doing it in the fastest time possible (my daughter did it in two hours, 52 minutes) we did it in our usual leisurely way, making a day of it with a stop for lunch at Talbot House in Pateley Bridge!
“For the majority of us it was our first ever Sportive, and a very enjoyable one at that.
“We have only really been cycling together as a group since March, and are campaigning to get more people of all shapes, sizes and ages, and especially women, out on bikes.”
Carol Armitstead, meanwhile, the mother of Otley’s Olympic medal-winning cyclist Lizzie, was among the scores of people who took to Twitter to congratulate Otley Sportive organiser Luke Minshall and his team.
She said: “Brilliant Otley Sportive. Thanks to all who organised it.”
Nicola Craine tweeted: “Really enjoyed Otley Sportive. Very well organised, not to mention amazing tea and cakes! Thanks very much”, while Ann Howe was one of many debutants to say how much they loved it, tweeting: “Thanks for such a great day today – my first ever Sportive and I loved it!”
All the riders taking part on Saturday were welcomed back with hot drinks and cake, and proceeds from the Sportive’s entry fees will go to the Bridge Church’s Scout Group and Leeds Mencap.