THE BRONX - Hundreds of Bronx residents marked national Bike to Work Day Friday by hopping on their bicycles and making their way down the Grand Concourse.

"I use my car as little as possible," says participant Jose Benitez. "I try to walk and use my bike."

The eco-friendly event was sponsored by Bronx Borough President Rubin Diaz Jr. as part of the Grand Concourse centennial celebration.

The nonprofit organization Transportation Alternatives says 185,000 people in New York City pedaled to work in 2008, compared to only 76,000 in 2000 - a 143 percent increase.

According to biking enthusiasts, relying on two wheels instead of four to get around town is not only healthy and economical, but it can also be fun.

"You see details of the city you'd never see driving in a car," says Noah Budnick, of Transportation Alternatives.

The Bronx has a lower number of bicycle riders in comparison to the other city boroughs. However, city officials say they are working to create additional bike lanes and are encouraging residents to leave their cars behind.

Transportation Alternatives