WALLINGFORD’S Festival of Cycling will boast a number of new initiatives this year, with organisers promising the event will be ‘bigger than ever’.

Returning for its fourth year, the free festival will host new features ‘the cycling show’ and ‘crazy soap box challenge’ – with organisers hoping around 7,500 people will attend.

Other activities over the weekend - from Friday, July 6 to Sunday 8 - include several organised rides for all ages and abilities, a pump track, outdoor spin classes, and children’s cycle coaching.

Beginning as a one-day festival in 2014, volunteer organisers hope to ‘inspire as many people as possible, young and old, to get on their bikes’.

Co-organiser Tony Sefton said: “This year is about getting more of us on our bikes whatever our ability so please come and join in - we have something for everyone.”

The weekend begins with Friday’s ten mile ‘Trailblazer mountain bike ride’.

On the Saturday, young riders can meet British Cycling coaches, while the Festival Cycling Show is open to all.

On offer will be films, clips and live interviews with cycling adventurer Sarah Outen MBE and members of 'The Adventure Syndicate’ - female cyclists aiming to inspire, encourage and enable others. Tickets will be available from the Corn Exchange.

On the festival's final day, rides include the 60km and 120km Festival Flyer, the 25m Trailblazer mountain bike ride and the Rubies Family Fancy Dress Ride.

Soap box challenge, the other new event, will see participants race across Wallingford Bridge.

Dylan Evans, Active Communities Manager at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: "Together we are making South Oxfordshire a fitter, healthier and happier community where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy outdoor sport.

“It is wonderful to see that the Festival has now grown into a three-day event and by working alongside a local charity, Style Acre, we are able to offer an Inclusive Ride on the Sunday, making this a truly accessible event.”

More information can be found at www.wfoc.co.uk.