FAMILIES had wheelie good fun as the reborn York Cycle Rally went from strength to strength over the weekend.

More than 100 riders lined up for one race alone as Knavesmire staged two days of grass and cyclo-cross races for riders of all abilities and ages.

Those who preferred less competitive activity took part in a series of organised rides catering for those who wanted a long day out to those who wanted an amble to a pub or cafe.

Off their bikes, the thousands of participants visited trade stalls and bike auctions, looked at bikes of all ages and sizes including those specially adapted for the disabled, listened to talks on technical and non-technical cycling matters, attended a cyclists' church service at St Matthew's Naburn, took part in photo and drawing competitions and socialised in the refreshment marques or outside food stalls, while keeping out of the way of the many small children scooting around on their bikes.

Now the volunteer organising committee has ambitious plans to make it bigger for next year.

"It is quite spectacular" said committee member Paul Reid, on how the newstyle event with its stress on participation has grown from nothing in two years.

"It's amazing we have got this far so quickly. There is an atmosphere that here you can bring children and they can enjoy themselves. It is a safe environment."

The committee is keen to involve local schools, particularly in the grass races, the starting ground for many top British class cyclists such as double Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton and former world and Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.

Parties from clubs across the north of England were among hundreds who turned part of Knavesmire into a tented camp and camper van settlement and the number of cycling firms and organisations taking part grew from last year.

Next year's rally is provisionally arranged for June 24 and 25.