06/01/2012 04:08 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Nighttime Montreal bike ride cheered on by protesters

The 14th edition of Montreal's popular Tour-la-Nuit nighttime bicycle ride took place Friday night, with more than 17,000 hitting the roads.

And instead of hiccups or logjams due to student protests in the city, the event was cheered on by some demonstrators.

Tour-la-Nuit is an event put on by Vélo Québec to celebrate urban cycling culture by closing down some of the city's main arteries to cars and giving cyclists the chance to enjoy 22 kilometres of open road.

The event began at 8:15 p.m. ET on St. Joseph Boulevard, and people were still starting out as late as 10 p.m. The route ended at Jeanne Mance Park.

Along the way, people partaking in "casserole" rallies against Bill 78, Quebec's emergency legislation to deal with the ongoing student crisis, beat out rhythms on pots and pans to salute those riding by.

Friday night's protests in Montreal drew about 1,000 people overall, mostly downtown, and there were no major issues with the Tour-la-Nuit ride.

Cyclist Mélanie Vilandré said the thought didn't even occur to her when she signed up for the ride.

"The first time I thought about it was I listened to the news and I said, 'Oh yeah, that's right.' Not that I don't care, but I'm not afraid of what's going on."

Route map