What better way is there to explore the south Oxfordshire countryside than to jump on your bike and start pedalling?
Thousands of people are expected to do just that when the Wallingford Festival of Cycling takes place on Sunday.
A packed programme of events has been put together for keen cyclists and social riders alike, running throughout the day from the town centre and Kinecroft Park.
The elite programme includes the British Cycling National Junior Championships – new for this year – with races starting and finishing in Wallingford.
But it is not just about watching the professionals, with festival organiser Tony Sefton encouraging cyclists of all ages and abilities to come along and take part.
He said: “We are really looking forward to welcoming families to Wallingford.
“As well as the family and child rides that start in the Kinecroft, we have a free bike park to allow everyone to ride to the festival and leave their bikes while they explore all that there is to see and do.
“This event is all about participation. If you have a mountain bike or road bike, you can ride one of our signposted and marshalled sportives.”
Distances range from a challenging 110km sportive to a five-mile family ride, meaning cyclists of all ages and abilities are well catered for.
It’s not all about lengthy rides out into rural Oxfordshire however, with plenty going on in Wallingford itself to keep everyone entertained.
Kinecroft Park will be host to exciting stunt shows every hour from midday to 4pm, as well as a variety of food stalls and bike shops showcasing their latest cycle merchandise.
You can also head back to the 19th century and try out an old-fashioned penny farthing, as long as you’re feeling brave enough! They will be racing later on in the afternoon as well.
Children aged four and over can also enjoy some cycle coaching and a practice race around a grass circuit.
And for those who just fancy watching the experts pound round the streets of Wallingford town centre, five Criterium races for men, women and children will be staged around a 950m course from 1.35pm.
Racing is set to be highly competitive, and will need a loud and enthusiastic crowd as a backdrop.
Tony added: “As the day progresses we will see the race programme start around the dedicated town centre circuit.
“Racers from all over the country will be coming along to try to win on the day.
“But perhaps the highlight is the National Junior Road Race. It will be contested around the roads of south Oxfordshire and finishes in Wallingford, where the national champions will be presented with their jerseys.
“Those jerseys matter. Any senior professionals riding as current national champions in the Tour de France wear them instead of the team jerseys. The 16 to 19-year-olds will be eyeing up the chance to join an elite group.”
For more information about the festival, go to wallingfordfestivalofcycling.co.uk.