A SUMMER of cycling events will be hitting the streets of Southampton and residents will have a chance to get involved.

Bike fever is gripping the nation as the Tour de France returned to the UK and a city cycling campaign is showing people it’s not just for the professionals.

After the Sky Ride last month, Sky Ride Local is teaming up with the city council, British Cycling and My Journey Southampton to provide free guided rides and get people pedalling.

The planning is already done, with the best routes picked, ride leaders booked and some places organised to dismount and visit, as well as having three different ability levels on offer.

The council is hoping the Tour de France will inspire residents to be more active.

Those who take part in two or more Sky Ride Local rides during July will also be able to get some British Cycling gifts like water bottles, neck buffs and a chance to win a VIP cycling experience to the Tour of Britain in September.

Environment and transport councillor, Jacqui Rayment said: “I would like to encourage Southampton residents to take part in at least one of these weekend rides.

“Thanks to British Cycling and My Journey Southamp-ton, these bike rides offer something for all ages and abilities, whether you are a keen cyclist who is up for a challenge or a family who is looking for an active day out.

“I hope that the success of last month’s Sky Ride Southampton and Tour de France, as well as local opportunities such as Sky Ride Local rides will inspire residents to cycle more regularly and make Southampton a better place to live and work.”