THE Pedal Power Festival makes a welcome return to mid Cheshire on Sunday, June 14.

Now in its second year, the event includes two new sportive rides and a guest appearance by a world champion as well as a five-mile family friendly ride and a host of attractions making up a festival village.

It has been inspired by the Guardian's Pedal Power campaign, which is all about encouraging readers to try cycling for the first time or to root their old bike out of the shed and get back on two wheels.

The campaign, which was launched in November 2012, set out to show that there is a type of cycling to interest everyone, from commuting to competing, BMX tricks to a pootle to the shops.

The festival embodies these aims and offers visitors a host of ways to get involved.

World champion track cyclist Lee Suthard, from Kingsmead, will join town mayor Cllr Andy Stott to set riders off and challenge riders to beat him in a static bike competition on the Weaver Valley Cycling Club stand.

"Having a festival like this means that cycling is open to everyone not just people who compete or do sportives," he said.

"It's raising awareness of cycling for everyone so hopefully it will be a really amazing event and people will come and enjoy it."

Gina Bebbington, Guardian chief reporter and one of the festival organisers, said: "We have tried to put on a bit of something for everyone at the festival, whether you just want inspiration or want to get out on your bike.

"Hundreds of cyclists are set to join in our sportives and family ride and we hope plenty more people will come into Northwich to soak up the festival atmosphere too."

The festival is being organised in conjunction with Northwich Town Council.

Chris Shaw, town council clerk and also a keen cyclist, said: "It's about getting people out on their bikes, getting people fit and having a good time.

"It's also a chance to showcase what Cheshire has to offer for a cyclist – it's flat and it has fantastic scenery.

"If we get 40 people to carry on cycling that haven't cycled before then that's great."

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