About 200 bicyclists converged on Modesto's Tenth Street Plaza this morning on the city's annual "Bike to Work Day."
Cyclists arrived at the plaza on their own or from one of three formal routes that the city had designated for the event.
"We're having a better turnout, maybe because of the weather, maybe higher gas prices," said Megan Distaso, ride share coordinator for the city and organizer of the event.
"We're hoping to get more people aware that cycling is a great way to commute. It's good for your health, it's great for traffic and congestion, it saves money," she said. "We're hoping more people will get in the habit of it."
Katherine Boyd, a Modesto attorney who rode from home and joined up with a group of riders en route, said she was pleased to see so many people involved.
"It would be great if more people rode," Boyd said. "It's a lot of fun."
Anthony Presto, spokesman for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, also was pleased by the number of bicycles parked outside Tenth Street Place.
He said the dry, warm weather makes it even more important for people to leave behind their cars for the sake of improving the air. Air quality is listed as moderate today.
“We’ve had a great turnout today, and that is really important,” Presto said. “It’s important for people to realize our air quality situation and to take alternate modes of transportation like a bicycle.”