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Annual Bike Tour Winds Through City with a Message

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Thousands of bike riders from across the city and around the world took part Sunday in the annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour. NY1's Mahsa Saeidi filed the following report.

Biking in the city can be treacherous at times, but every spring 40 miles of roads belong to the bikes at the TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

"Pedestrians just walk on through without looking, people going the wrong way," said one bike rider.

"Cars not seeing you, having to watch out, police standing in the bike lane," noted another bike rider.

"Nobody thinks when they open their door to check for a bike coming down the side of the car, so you really feel tense a lot of the time," said a third bike rider.

But every spring, 40 miles of roads belong to the bikes -- at the TD Five Boro Bike Tour.

Participants biked for different causes. One man who spoke with NY1 was raising money for Alzheimer's.

""This, my mom in Florida, that's what I have to ride for, for my mom," he said.

Bike New York President and CEO Ken Podziba says riders are also helping to fund free bike education programs.

"Once you learn how to ride it's not enough in New York City because a lot of people are fearful of the streets, so we teach you to overcome that fear," Podziba said.

Those who took part cycled the length of Manhattan, through the Bronx, over the Queensboro Bridge, through Brooklyn, and then finally over the Verrazano Bridge to Staten Island where a celebration awaited them.

"I love this ride, it's the best ride in the world," said one bike rider.

"Feeling great, we had a wonderful time," said another bike rider.

City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg says bicycling in New York has quadrupled in the past 10 years, and when it comes to encouraging that trend, she's not planning on changing gears.

"We're going to add more bike lanes here, we're going to make sure that we do it in a process where we talk to the whole community and we get input from New Yorkers," Trottenberg said.

"My hope in the future is that we have a lot more bike lanes, we have a lot more people cycling, that CitiBike share is all over the city," Podziba said.

For now, Podziba says there's never been a better time to be a biker.

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