CONCOURSE VILLAGE - The 18th annual Tour de Bronx kicked off in the borough today to great fanfare.

The Tour de Bronx is the largest free bicycling event in the state, attracting several thousands of riders each year. There are 25- and 40-mile routes that stop along Bronx attractions such as City Island and Pelham Bay Park. The ride ends with a music festival at New York Botanical Garden.

The point of the tour, organizers say, is to promote bicycling as mode of transportation that is positive for riders and the environment.