A new website to welcome cyclists from across the world to Otley will launch today.
Otley Loves Cyclists has been set up to build on the town’s already strong reputation as a cycling stronghold – and to ride the crest of this year’s Tour de France wave of interest.
Otley Sportive Cycling Organisation, supported by the Town Council, has created www.otleyloves cyclists.com to encourage more people to ride in Otley and to make it easier for them to find the best routes, along with places to stay, eat and drink.
Eleven businesses have already signed up to the site – and will have stickers in their windows to advertise the fact – to welcome cyclists and help them use their facilities, with many more expected to follow.
Otley Sportive chairman Luke Minshall said: “It is a great opportunity to launch the website, with the support of the local community, at the start of the Tour de France 100 days cultural festival.
“We want the site to be part of the Tour’s legacy and for the community to prosper once the Tour de France has passed.
“We are keen to get local businesses involved and to promote the site and their offer to cyclists.”
Otley has long been a choice destination for cycling fans and riders due to its annual Cycle Races and, more recently, the success of Otley Sportive and Otley Cycling Festival.
And local hero Lizzie Armitstead’s silver-medal success at the London 2012 Olympics boosted the town’s cycling profile even higher.
The new website was a key component of the Do You Ride? Community Cycling Strategy, drawn up by Otley Sportive, that aims to further promote cycling as a sustainable mode of transport that benefits the community.
That strategy has been adopted by the town council, whose environment and sustainability committee chairman Councillor Kevin Cooney (Lab, West Chevin) said: “It’s great that 11 local businesses have signed up already to the Otley Loves Cyclists scheme.
“It would be good to see other Otley traders who provide food, drink or accommodation coming forward too.
“It doesn’t cost anything for a business to join this scheme but it provides an opportunity to let cycling groups and individual cyclists know that they would be welcome to use that business’s services.”
More details will be available at www.otleylovescyclists.com from Friday March 28.
Any businesses interested in supporting the project should send an e-mail to luke@otley sportive.co.uk .