It was time to kick heart health into high gear yesterday, as the first-ever Bike for Beats event was held at LeBreton Flats.

Raising money and awareness for cardiovascular research and care was the order of the day, with $500,000 in proceeds from the event going to the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.

Participants could choose between riding three different courses of 25 km, 50 km or 100 km, in and around Ottawa and Gatineau.

“A lot of people have taken up cycling this year and been training for today,” said Barry Stanton, the Heart Institute Foundation’s director of development. “I would like to think that because of this event we will have more people exercising, which is part of the purpose.”

The challenge is geared toward both casual and experienced riders.

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