With Support from Sibley Memorial Hospital, DC Bike Ride Brings Car-Free Joy to Thousands
It was a beautiful day for a bike ride. A fresh breeze finally broke the sweltering, weekslong heat wave, and music and laughter filled the air for the more than 8,700 cyclists at the seventh annual DC Bike Ride on Saturday, Sept. 9. The highlight of the ride, sponsored in part by Celebration Partner Sibley Memorial Hospital, was that there were no cars to impede or stress out riders along the 20-mile route around Washington, D.C., landmarks and across major throughfares and parkways.
“The support that DC Bike Ride receives from Sibley Memorial Hospital is incredible,” said Danielle Berman Ruiz, events and partnerships coordinator for American Bike Ride, LLC, the event organizer. “They have been a consistent partner of our ride for four years now, bringing our ‘Miles and Smiles’ program to life. On top of their support of this event, Sibley continues to bring out their associates and staff each year to enjoy a fun day together promoting health and wellness. We are grateful to have such an incredible partner that is so aligned with the mission of our event.”
“It’s so important that the community sees the hospital involved in these kinds of events to encourage healthy habits and promote an open dialogue,” said Sibley short-stay surgery nurse Laura Gates, who participated in the bike ride. “It’s walking the talk!”
Riders of all ages and levels joined the fun, from newbies still sporting training wheels to elite pros in spiffy sports outfits and high-end cycles. There were also superhero costumes and glitter galore. Even a few small dogs in backpacks and baskets came along for the ride.
American Bike Ride, in concert with the office of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department, did a terrific job staging the ride, complete with safety cones, flag wavers, announcers and signage to keep riders safe and on course. Event staff and volunteers positioned throughout the ride provided water, healthy snacks, first aid and cycling support.
“I am so proud that Sibley was a partner in the DC Bike Ride again this year, and that my Sibley babies were able to participate,” said Nadine Signe, director of patient and family experience at Sibley, who attended the event with her children, 18-month-old Lana, and 4-year-old Landry.
From start (West Potomac Park) to finish (300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW), every few miles brought a note of musical surprise along with wide-eyed smiles to the riders’ faces. Performers included a jazz saxophonist, a classical violinist and a steel drum duo playing calypso. At one point, in the underpass heading to and from the Georgetown turnaround, a DJ crew spun modern, bass-heavy beats and some soulful vocals from hometown D.C. musical hero Marvin Gaye.
According to American Bike Ride, a portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to support the mission and programming behind Dreaming Out Loud, an urban farm network in Wards 7 and 8, as well as to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the Streets Calling Bike Club.
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