SHOCKWAVES have reverberated through Keighley's cycling community after the sudden closure of a popular business.

Many people have taken to social media to voice their dismay at the demise of accolade-winning Aire Valley Cycles.

The South Street shop in 2012 was named one of the UK's top 20 independent bike stores by Bike Biz magazine.

In a heartfelt notice posted on the business's website, owner Bernie Burns – a former professional cyclist – thanked customers for their support and paid tribute to colleagues.

"Cycling in Yorkshire has never been better – last year the Tour de France boosted local businesses and the region's people – so I write this with a very heavy heart," he said.

"Unfortunately Aire Valley Cycles has closed down.

"The shop has thrived for 25 years in Keighley, offering an unbeatable service and a wealth of experience from its dedicated staff.

"I was proud to be a part of the Aire Valley team for the last 20 years and today has been very sad and I know will come as a shock to all our customers.

"I want to thank each and every one of you for your custom over the years."

The message adds: "I personally am not ready to give it all up just yet and will hopefully be offering a cycle repair and maintenance service, which I hope you will all make use of. I will provide details shortly."

The business relocated from its former Campbell Street premises to the bigger, 7,000sqft Halifax Road site in 2011.

Another ex-professional cyclist, Sid Barras, said he shared people's shock at the closure.

"I know Bernie – I feel desperately sorry for him and wish him well," said four-times British cycling champion Mr Barras, who lives at Whitley Head, Steeton.

"I had a shop in Keighley in the 1970s and it's not an easy trade.

"People have got to support these local shops. You always received great service at Aire Valley Cycles and once you lose these places there's nowhere to go if you have a problem or need advice.

"The closure is a big loss to the town."