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Miami-Dade's Mayor Promotes Biking To Work

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Cars were left at home Thursday morning and many people rode their bikes to work  in the name of health.

The goal was to promote physical fitness and healthy lifestyles, while encouraging residents to bike to parks, attractions, shops and events throughout the year.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez took part in the "Bike305 Bike to Work Day" and encouraged South Floridians to do the same.

"If you get into biking, it's almost an addiction eventually you miss it," said Mayor Gimenez. "Every person that gets on a bike and doesn't get in a car improves everybody's way to get around."

While Mayor Gimenez promotes this lifestyle, he acknowledges riding on South Florida streets can be dangerous.

"The driver has to be aware there are bicyclists on the road. The bicyclists have to be aware of their surroundings," said Mayor Gimenez.

Bike305 includes municipal mayors and parks departments from Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Doral, Homestead, Key Biscayne, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Miami Shores, North Miami, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside.

South Florida leaders are  hoping you will support their Bike 305 initiative and there are projects in the works designed to keep riders safe on South Florida streets.

There are 130 miles of bike paths in Miami-Dade county and to make cycling safer the mayor wants to add 400 more.

"We're making strides every day, making it safer for bicyclists to ride," said Mayor Gimenez.

Paul Bourgeois  commutes to Brickell every day all the way from Pembroke Pines.  Paul's wife and son were hit by a car and even that hasn't stopped Paul or his wife from riding every day.

"I ride my bike to the 95 express bus, take it downtown and when I take it downtown I ride it from the bus stop to my office so I do about 7, 8 miles round trip every day," said Bourgeois.

He said it's saves money and gives him a daily workout.

"I love it. It's a little bit of exercise. I have five kids so it's hard to go to a fitness center in the evening," said Bourgeois.

Avid cyclist Nicola Stassi also enjoys riding to work.

" I have a lot of fun going through the traffic. I get there faster than they do," said Stassi.

Click here for a map of Miami-Dade's current and future bike paths.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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