THE wheels have been set in motion for this year's Glasgow Cycle Festival.

Kicking off on Friday and running until June 29, there are events taking places across the city, organised by the Glasgow Bike Station, in partnership with Free Wheel North, CTC (the national cycling charity) and Glasgow Women's Library.

Activities at Free Wheel North, based in Glasgow Green, don't all involve a saddle and two wheels.

There are coffee, cake and creative writing rides in conjunction with Glasgow Women's Library, and Commonwealth Games-themed mural painting on the side of the site's containers to mark out the centre as a landmark.

"It can be quite intimidating getting back on a bike if you haven't ridden for a while," says Victoria Leiper, campaign manager at the West End-based Glasgow Bike Station.

"People who haven't been on a bike for 10 or 20 years might want to start in a group to get confidence and that's what this festival is all about.

"It's all aimed at people who are either new or returning to cycling. And because it is all funded by the Celebrate fund, which is Commonwealth Games money, it is about inspiring people and using the Games as a catalyst for greater levels of physical activity."

Highlights of the festival include inspiring talks at Glasgow Bike Station and Glasgow Women's Library, with an appearance by Abi Wingate, who cycled from Thailand to Scotland.

There will also be a pedal-powered cinema night at Glasgow Bike Station with a screening of Wadjda, a Saudi Arabian film about a young girl who dreams of owning a green bicycle.

There is freewheeling fun for children aged four and above with play on pedals, or you can get in the saddle for a group ride from Glasgow to Bannockburn, or join Belles on Bikes, a cycling group for women in Glasgow, on a day trip to Bute.

Tying in with national Bike Week from June 14 to 22, there are events at Pollok Park and Alexandra Park, including come and try sessions.

Visit and www.glasgowcycle