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Cyclists in Winnipeg's Exchange district will get a chance to ride in the area in a pop-up protected lane next week.

On Tuesday and Wednesday next week, the painted bike lanes on McDermont and Bannatyne will have some extra protection. It's part of a public engagement process for the West Alexander to East Exchange bike corridor.

Bike Week Winnipeg project manager Dave Elmore says a protected bike lane is one that is separated from other traffic.

"It's just a pop-up to give people the experience: this is what it would be like in this location if we had a protected bike lane; and it just happens that that protected bike lane, or that particular area, is going to be getting protected bike lanes going forward."

The pop-up protected lanes are also a part of Bike Week, which runs tomorrow to next Friday for its fourth year. A kick-off event was held at City Hall this morning, preceded by the annual Suit and Heels and Wheels Ride, during which participants rode from The Forks to City Hall in business attire. June 23rd will mark the tenth annual Bike to Work Day. Plenty of other events are planned through the week as well, including the third annual Blessing of the Bikes on Sunday morning.

Elmore says the week isn't about specifically about commuting; he says there's lots you can do on a bike.

"It even includes just going out recreationally for a ride. You know, it's just getting out there and enjoying riding a bicycle and getting some fresh air and getting some exercise."

Elmore says Bike Week tries to stay out of the advocacy side of things, but ultimately they would like to see improved infrastructure, and he says they'd like to see it move forward at a quicker pace.

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