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Toronto bike month begins with bike-to-work day

Commuters were encouraged to make the trek in on two wheels on Monday as Toronto kicked off Bike Month.

Bike To Work Day, the launch event, saw hundreds of cyclists take part in a ride from Yonge and Bloor streets to Nathan Phillips Square.

“Tens of thousands are already biking to work in this city. Cycling is energizing, fun, and the best way to get around Toronto,” Cycle Toronto’s executive director Jared Kolb said in a statement.

“We’re looking to reach more people who are looking to get out of their cars and get outside.”

Once riders made it to the square, there was a free pancake breakfast and speeches from cycling advocates. The rally was scheduled to end at 9 a.m. but there will be plenty more events all month long.

There will be safe cycling workshops, guided tours, group rides, art shows and film screenings have been organized across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Click here to see the full list.

“Bike Month is a community-driven program that encourages and celebrates cycling,” Kolb said.

“Forty per cent of all trips taken across the GTHA are less than five km which is very ‘bikeable.’ Cycling is a critical way to reduce traffic congestion on the road and promote the livability of our streets.”

More than 5,000 people participated in Bike to Work Day in 2012 and it is anticipated that number will be surpassed this year, according to Metrolinx.

Metrolinx, under the Smart Commute program, has partnered with Cycle Toronto for Bike Month.