BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Twice a month, hundreds of cyclists turn out in Canton for a Friday night bike ride.

It started as a way to get outside during the pandemic, get exercise and feel a sense of community.

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“Everyone is coming out to have a good time, to break the monotony of being in the house all week, working from home,” said biker Tierre Tates.

Three local bike groups are responsible for organizing the ride- 4TEN BIKES, Bike More Bmore and Baltimore Bikers.

“I hate to see people sit in the house. It’s still summertime,” said Andre Watson, founder of 4TEN BIKES,  “We still should be outside exercising.”

The first ride, held in early June, attracted close to 200 people.

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They’ve since more than doubled, with upwards of 400 cyclists meeting twice a month for an 11-mile ride from Canton to Fort McHenry and back.

“This is my second ride, they don’t leave anyone behind,” said Tate.

The rides are also promoting health and wellness in the community.

“You know people are dealing with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a lot of different diseases that plague our community,” Brian Henderson, Executive Director of Baltimore Bikers, said. “So the whole goal is just for people to be healthy, not just because of COVID but just because we need it.”

The rides are completely free!

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The next one is scheduled for August 21. The group meets at Canton Crossing at 8 p.m. and the ride starts at 9 p.m. Riders of all ability levels and ages are welcome.

Sean Streicher