At left, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and his wife Diane Baker bike to campus, entering near the Children’s Inn. In center photo, Lt. Beth Osterink (l) coordinates a composting effort and is joined by cyclists Catherine Rehm of NIAID (r) and Megan Mattingly of NIDDK (c). In photo at right, NIDDK’s Vipul Periwal registers his bike with Cpl. John Ritch of the NIH Police.
NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and his wife Diane Baker, both wearing NIH Bicycle Commuter Club cycling shirts, were among the hundreds of NIH’ers who bicycled to work on May 21, which was Bike to Work Day.
Dropping by the official event pit stop in front of Bldg. 1, Collins said he and his wife pedaled in from their home in Rockville, and at one point were joined by an NIDDK postdoc who rode with them the rest of the way.
Above, Collins greets attendees at the Bldg. 1 pit stop. His remarks at the gathering are captured at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQsJ6pjAh84. At left below, tandem cyclist Don Schneider of CSR gets help from his “stoker” Jean Chen of NIGMS, who also happens to be his wife of 30 years. Below, at right, NCI’s Steve Friedman (l) gets a bike tune-up from Bicycle Place’s Michael Butchko.
Collins said he usually commutes to work aboard his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, but allowed that commuting by bike is “better exercise and clearly healthier.” Wishing participants a safe ride home, he added, “I hope we do this as often as we can.”
NIH also sponsored pit stops at Executive Plaza and Rockledge. The EPN site featured a sock exchange—cyclists could turn in used pairs for new ones from SmartWool. Also on hand was a bike mechanic from Hudson Trail Outfitters.
The Rockledge site boasted a mechanic from outdoor store REI, who checked out bikes for free; Bldg. 1 hosted a technician from Bicycle Place. The R&W Fitness Center at Rockledge also offered 1-month memberships to two lucky riders and extended
use of its shower facilities to non-members on Bike to Work Day.
Washington Area Bicycling Association board member Casey Anderson attended the Bldg. 1 pit stop and reported that the Maryland State Highway Administration recently pledged to complete the Bethesda Trolley Trail as part of the Navy medical center expansion. The trail connects White Flint with the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda.
About 500 NIH’ers participated in this year’s event, which should earn NIH its fifth consecutive win in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’
competition for area employer with the most workers saddling up.