Edinburgh has a lot to offer cyclists, with its network of car-free paths on former railway lines providing easy riding from the suburbs into the city centre.

Cyclists account for more than 3% of commuters and cycling commands 6% of the city's transport budget, so it's perhaps surprising that the capital has never had a major celebration of two-wheeled transport – until now.

Next week marks the first Edinburgh Festival of Cycling. From June 15 to 23, it will feature opportunities to go on lesser-known rides, listen to talks by champion cyclists, try new forms of cycling and browse exhibitions devoted to the sport.

One of the highlights will be the Coastal Night Ride on the summer solstice, June 21, from the city centre through East Lothian. Taking place when the roads are at their quietest, the 40-mile trip will be led by an experienced leader and end with a breakfast (tickets £15 including hot drink and light breakfast).

The festival programme has been designed to appeal to casual cyclists, children and the fit crowd alike. It kicks off at 7pm on Friday with a 24-hour spinning marathon (£6 per hour as part of fundraising drive for SAMH), though if you fancy something more easy-osey, you could join the Edinburgh Lochs and Castles tour on Saturday (and all week), a two-hour guided ride with historical commentary taking in the Innocent Tunnel, Craigmillar Castle, Duddingston Loch and The Palace of Holyroodhouse (£6). Also on Saturday are a host of taster events, including the Cycle Speedway session for children (cycle racing on oval dirt tracks), bike polo and a chance to find out more about the mountain bike trails proposals for the Skelf Bike Skills Park in Braidwood on the western boundary of Holyrood park. Those coming along will be able to have a go on some of the "proto-trails".

There's the chance on Saturday to discover Edinburgh's Hidden Mountain Biking Country between the city centre and the airport with a guided three-hour off-road ride, finishing at Cramond Brig pub (£2 – proceeds to the cycling campaign Spokes).

There are also talks by Mark Beaumont, who held the world record for circumnavigating the world on a bike, Juliana Buhring, currently the fastest woman to cycle the world, and Mikael Colville-Anderson, Denmark's bicycle ambassador, on how cities can "Copenhagenise" and become more cycle friendly. Throw in advice sessions on nutrition for long-distance cycling with personal trainer Tracy Griffen, exhibitions, carnival-style decorated cycle rides for children, fancy-dress vintage rides and a race to see who can complete the mile-long ascent of Arthur's Seat in the fastest time, and this programme can hold its own in a city known for its festivals. As Edinburgh begins to Copenhagenise, it will hopefully become a permanent fixture in Edinburgh's calendar.

Visit edfoc.org.uk.