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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

NIH Honored for Top BTWD Participation

Group shot of NIH reps accepting the Bike to Work Day award.

On hand at the 2019 BTWD awards luncheon were (from l) Joe Cox, chief, Transportation Services Branch, ORS; Susan Cook, director, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, ORS; Colleen McGowan, director, Office of Research Services; Dr. Vernon Anderson, president of the NIH Bicycle Commuter Club; Dr. Alfred Johnson, NIH deputy director for management; Nick Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, a program of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; and Hannah Anderson-Dana, membership and development coordinator for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

Photo: Rich McManus

NIH enjoyed the spoils of finishing first, for the umpteenth time, in Bike to Work Day (BTWD) participation among large metro-area employers as cyclists enjoyed a complimentary lunch June 25 in Natcher Bldg.

Nicholas Ramfos, representing the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, presented the first-place plaque to Dr. Alfred Johnson, NIH deputy director for management.

Some 566 NIH’ers registered for BTWD, held on May 17. “That’s the most we’ve had in the past 5 years,” said Joe Cox, chief, Transportation Services Branch, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, ORS.

“The truth is, we win this award every year, but we like to spread the wealth [in the form of a boxed-lunch reception] around,” he noted.

“It’s a great honor to win this award…It shows we are the leaders [in metro area bike commuting]. We’re number one!”

Dr. Johnson holds up Bike to Work Day award.

Johnson congratulates attendees for putting into practice the health messages that NIH preaches.

Photo: Rich McManus

Cox emphasized that NIH’s outstanding performance each year is the result of a partnership with the NIH Bicycle Commuter Club (NIHBCC). Club president Dr. Vernon Anderson of NIGMS underscored the ease, and value, of joining NIHBCC.

“All you need to do is sign up for the listserv on our website [],” said Anderson, who came to NIH 10 years ago and credits the club with helping him “find the way for what is, for me, a significant commute. It’s a very valuable way to learn about the facilities and the bicycling community here at NIH.”

Ramfos emphasized that bike commuting “is one of the cleanest and healthiest commuter methods you can find. And it’s the cheapest, other than walking.” More than 18,000 area cyclists participated in BTWD 2019, he said, checking in at some 115 pit stops in the region.

Many of those pit stops were NIH-related, he noted, including Bldg. 1, the Pike & Rose development, Falls Rd., Twinbrook and Rock Springs.

“NIH really does serve as a leader to other employers in the region,” he added. Rounding out the top 5 large-employer BTWD participants were the State Department (247 riders), EPA, the World Bank and USDA (147). “You guys are way ahead of everyone else.”

“We like to take our own best advice when it comes to health here at NIH,” concluded Johnson, congratulating the attendees. —Rich McManus 

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