DPH Employees and Families Enjoy Family Bike Day

May 23, 2016

To celebrate National Bike Month, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) recently sponsored its inaugural Family and Friends Bike Day. DPH employees and their families participated in a fun 10, 20, or 30-mile bike ride at the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna. 

Whether employees bike to work to save money or time, preserve their health, protect the environment or simply explore their community, National Bike Month is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and a good reason to ride. 

Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month is celebrated in communities across the country. Since its inception in 1956, National Bike Month has been promoted as a way to advance movement to build a bicycle-friendly America for everyone. 

Family and Friends Bike Day was a great way to motivate DPH employees and their families to enjoy fitness for the whole family.

“We wanted employees to celebrate their legs and participate in a biking event,” said Susanne Koch, worksite wellness coordinator at DPH. “Biking is a low-impact activity that is self-paced, a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your family and get a great cardiovascular workout.” 

“We included families because work-life balance is such an important aspect of well-being,” she continued. “The event was a great way to introduce DPH families to wellness activities we want our employees to participate in whether they are inside or outside of the office.”

Family and Friends Bike Day was led by two DPH employees – Kimberly Stringer, program manager for Early Brain Development and Language Acquisition, and David Bayne, director of Government Relations. Stringer is an Ironman triathlete, biking 112 miles during a triathlon. Bayne competes in duathlons, biking up to 20 miles in competitions.  

On Family and Friends Bike Day, the rides were categorized by distance, with those riders that were beginners (averaging 9-12 miles per hour), intermediate (13-15 miles per hour) and advanced (over 16 miles per hour).  

“The participants split into groups,” said Stringer. “David and I led a group that went 20 miles. Some people did 10 miles and some did shorter distances.” 

Huriyyah Lewis is the executive assistant to DPH Commissioner  Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. Lewis’ whole family participated in Family and Friends Bike Day. They enjoyed riding for fitness and fun. Lewis’ 5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son rode 10 miles and wore Georgia Shape t-shirts to show their enthusiasm for year-round fitness.

“It was a fun and adventurous physical activity enjoyed by my whole family,” said Lewis. “It was worth waking up early on a Saturday and leaving the house before noon. After riding 10 miles on Family and Friends Day, my husband and I will now be purchasing bikes to ride trails with the kids closer to our home. The weather was perfect and to top it off, sponsors provided us King of Pops with Chocolate Sea Salt Popsicles.”

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