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Bike share program for feds on the way

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This is not how it's done, by the way. You should probably wear a helmet.

Feds, are you itching to go for a bike ride? The government has just what you’re looking for.

The federal government has teamed up with the District of Columbia’s Capital Bikeshare program to provide employees easy access to bicycles in Washington and Arlington, Va. The Office of Personnel Management said the deal will eventually allow feds round-the-clock access to 1,000 bikes at 114 stations.

OPM hasn’t said yet what the government’s corporate partnership is going to mean in terms of group rates, or when the program will start, but we’ll post more details when they’re available. OPM Director John Berry has made wellness initiatives and encouraging federal employees to improve their health a priority, and this bikeshare program fits right in with that part of his agenda.

DC became the first jurisdiction in North America to launch its own bikeshare program in August 2008. It was expanded to Arlington in May. Members receive a key that will let them unlock any of the bikes, which they can ride them for up to 24 hours. (The first half-hour is free; after that riders will incur trip fees.)

In honor of the new arrangement (and the rainstorm that scuttled a photo op for it this morning), enjoy this scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:

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Cherry blossom time for OPM employees

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Photo courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Office of Personnel Management employees in Washington will get a treat later this week: an hour off to view the cherry blossoms and squeeze in a little exercise.

OPM Director John Berry issued a memo March 26 to the nearly 1,500 employees at the agency’s Washington headquarters granting them an hour off from April 1 to 4 to walk down to the Tidal Basin and see the blossoms. Those four days will be the blossoms’ peak blooming days.

Berry has made promoting wellness initiatives and encouraging federal employees to be healthier a major part of his agenda. This excused absence — and the nearly mile-and-a-half walk he hopes will accompany it — fits in with that drive.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual springtime event in Washington that commemmorates Tokyo’s 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the United States.

Full text of the memo can be found after the jump.

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