April 8, 2013 ─ From May 26 to June 2, cycling bells will toll for the Montréal Bike Fest, the city’s annual celebration of two-wheel transport. This year, the program is geared towards an inclusive and ever-broadening spectrum of local and visiting riders.

In 2013, everyone can say, “I’m doing my OWN Tour!” by choosing their own routes and activities. Nocturnal souls will appreciate the Tour la Nuit (May 31), where a parade of bicycle lights glitter through the streets for the occasion. The great cycling classic, the Tour de l’Île de Montréal (June 2), offers no fewer than five route options: a new 25-km path designed for kids and the uninitiated; the classic 50-km course; the 50-km Express for seasoned cyclists; the 100-km Découverte (discovery) circuit that takes cyclists around the island of Montréal along the shoreline; and the 100-km Express Vélo Mag, a Montréal first aimed at expert touring cyclists, who will ride under escort in a peloton.

Kids 12 years and under ride for free at the Tour la Nuit and the Tour de l’Île de Montréal. This initiative of Vélo Québec (Cycling Québec) is designed to encourage sports among young people and meet the challenge launched by the Québec government to combat sedentary lifestyles. Also, both events have a new finish site located at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade, a welcoming urban wonderland of creativity, entertainment, and physical activity.

And for some post-pedaling partying, a Happy Hour event, organized by the magazine Vélo Urbain and the folks at Montréal Cycle Chic, will feature a biking fashion contest—after all, it’s Montréal.

Finally, throughout the week, you’ll hear a lot about Operation Bike-to-Work, an annual campaign encouraging Montrealers to get around town by bicycle. Why not join in on the fun, and check out the city’s affordable Bixi bike rental network. You’ll feel just like a local spreading Bixi dust across the city while contributing to that special joie de vivre that you simply can’t find anywhere else.