CYCLISTS from Orange and beyond will have no excuse to find the best bike rides around with a new cycling guide launched yesterday.
The $5000 Cycle Orange Guide was jointly funded by Orange City Council and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and compiled by the council’s bicycling community committee.
As well as detailing 16 rides in and around Orange, the shortest at 4.4km and the longest at 75.4km, it also includes QR (Quick Response) codes for smartphone users to scan and find out more information about their chosen course and connect with a Strava mobile-based GPS ride tracker.
The guide has been kick-started with 1000 print copies and is also available online for cycling tourists and local riders.
Bicycling Community Committee member Ash Brown said the council’s investment in the guide was worth it for the healthy lifestyle it promoted.
“There are multiple bike groups that can use it, as well as tourists and families,” he said.
“It gives them tested and safe tracks around Orange.
“It took about six to eight months work for the bicycling committee. They’ve put in a lot of hours riding around and checking tracks.”
Fellow committee member Steven Martin was involved in compiling the guide.
“We tried to choose a variety of rides that are popular,” he said.
“There are some that are around town and there are longer rides to cater for all levels.
“Cycling is becoming a lot more popular. If people want to go on cycling holidays they want to know where the good rides are.”
Tourism manager Glenn Mickle said Orange was becoming more popular with cycling tourists, as it was a central hub and also offers wineries and cafes.
He hoped the guide would encourage visitors to extend their stay in Orange or return with their bikes.
Cr Brown agreed.
“It’s hard to measure, but it will definitely create tourist dollars,” he said.
“This will add another dimension to tourism.”
The guide can be picked up at the Orange Visitor Information Centre or downloaded from www.visitorange.com.au/pages/cycling-guide.