In 2013 a group of friends from Amersham, all keen cyclists with different skills and fitness levels, founded the Chiltern Cycling Festival, and it returns to the Penn House Estate this weekend.

“We wanted to share our love of the area,” says organiser Nick O’Brien. “To highlight that the Chilterns were just as good an area if not better than the Surrey hills, which at the time were getting huge amounts of support as the best area to cycle close to London post-Olympic games, and we still believe the Chilterns are tougher terrain.”

What started between friends has grown exponentially in just a few years, becoming a full-scale festival celebrating cycling culture in all its glory, alongside live music, vintage markets and local producers including Tring Brewery and locally brewed Puddingstone Gin.

Nick assures me that there is plenty on offer for those who don’t cycle as well as those that do.

“You don’t need a bike to enjoy the day,” he says, “come along and soak up the vintage atmosphere, cheer on the riders, watch the parade and relax on the lawns with a glass of Pimm’s and a picnic.

“You can discover the best little festival you’ve never heard of. Set in the relaxing gardens and lawns of Penn House, with a vintage theme, the Chiltern Cycling Festival is a classic British summer’s day out for all the family. There is something for everyone of all ages, whether they like bikes or not, there is a festival atmosphere all day long.”

Nick is expecting as many as 5,000 people to attend, with only a fifth of that entering the official races that run throughout the day; another attraction for non-riders to watch.

“The sportive riders start and finish in the grounds with spectators cheering returning riders all the way up the final climb back to Penn House – it’s individually timed with the winner being crowned ‘King of the Chilterns’.

“There are children’s events in association with British Cycling’s Go Ride team along with the Velo village and more than 20 stalls selling some of the UK’s finest cycling brands, gifts, fashion and collectables. Visitors can also take part in the retro-inspired Dapper Pedaller competition where the finest dressed riders and their bikes get a chance to win amazing prizes and bragging rights.”

Considering the recent weather being turbulent to say the least, I had to ask Nick what the plan is if it rains.

“Most cyclists are made of tough stuff and with a very British festival attitude we will soldier on regardless, plus the beer tent will be busy,” he jokes. But he quickly adds: “On a serious note there is plenty of shelter around the lawns and, being positive, this also acts as shade on what will be a beautiful July day, whatever the weather.”

Chiltern Cycling Festival, Penn House, Penn, Amersham, HP7 0PS, Sunday, July 17. Details: 01494 432984