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Thousands brave the cold for bike ride downtown

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A chilly day didn’t stop thousands from hitting the streets of Indianapolis for a bike ride Saturday.

The 2nd annual Polar Bear Pedal made its way through downtown, as more than a thousand cyclists bundled up and joined together for the 10 mile ride.

“A lot of layers, two layers of gloves, two layers on the head,” cyclist John Cook said.

The event, started by the Mayor’s Office, is a way to showcase the city’s bike paths and growing accessibility for bikers.

“There was a lot of pent-up demand for this. We didn’t really have a way for folks to ride their bikes safely across town,” Mayor Greg Ballard said.

Ballard has started several citywide bike rides throughout the year, saying that the ability for people to bike safely to work and around the city is a way to attract residents and businesses to Indianapolis.

“All cities are in competition. It’s about talent attraction and this is a part of it,” Ballard said.

Of the many who came out to the event, the Evaniew family were just glad to see the sun out. Last year’s inaugural Polar Bear Pedal fell on a day of heavy snow, making it difficult to ride.

“It was really hard to pedal,” Isaac Evaniew said.

This time around, the participants just had to bundle up for the cold. Many enjoyed hot chocolate at the City Market after the ride.

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