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The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are going green this year, and as part of this effort, Humana and the bicycling advocacy organization Bikes Belong are launching the nation’s largest bike-sharing program ever.  The program, called Freewheelin, will bring 1,000 bikes to each convention city for free use by convention attendees, residents and media to help demonstrate the health and environmental benefits of biking for short trips.  Read more…

Mayors, convention attendees and convention-city residents will help roll out the program with the inaugural Freewheelin First Rides in each city, a 100+ bike launch event.

facts

car Freewheelin organizers predict that if use of all 1,000 bikes is maximized during both conventions, the movement will successfully reduce the national carbon footprint by 4.4 tons and participants will collectively burn more than 200,000 calories!

work The Democratic and Republican National Conventions are collectively expected to bring as many as 95,000 guests, including delegates, media and a multitude of politicians and political enthusiasts from around the nation, to the cities of Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

gas If each of those guests were to produce the average daily amount of carbon (140 lbs per individual) the conventions would emit over 106 million pounds (53,000 tons) of carbon over their duration.

 



 
 

Attending the conventions? Register to be a part of the Freewheelin effort
Bikes Belong website
Map your Route – Denver
Map your Route – Minneapolis/St.Paul

Click here to learn more about green initiatives at the DNC
Click here to learn more about green initiatives at the RNC

 

quotes

Jonathan T. Lord, M.D., Humana senior vice president and chief innovation officer
“Just like one voter can impact the outcome of an election, one cyclist can help significantly reduce the environmental impact that our lifestyles have had on the planet,” said Jonathan T. Lord, M.D., Humana senior vice president and chief innovation officer. “Bike sharing has been popular overseas for years, and is an easy way for Americans to integrate healthy living and environmental conservation into every day life.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) 
“I think this is a great way to demonstrate to America how cycling can really enrich everyone’s lives.”


Christopher Coleman, Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota
“As the host cities for the 2008 Republican National Convention, Minneapolis-St. Paul are thrilled to have such a key role in introducing the Freewheelin bike-sharing program to so many Americans,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “We hope that the success of Freewheelin in Minneapolis-St. Paul will help encourage other cities to consider the development of bike sharing.”

R.T. Rybak, Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
“As biking becomes increasingly popular — and as Minneapolis-St. Paul prepares for nearly 50,000 guests this September for the RNC — Freewheelin’s arrival to our cities could not have come at a better time,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “I look forward to joining our guests and our residents tooling around town on two wheels with the exciting arrival of Freewheelin.”

 

  • Bike sharing has taken hold around the globe with sustained programs in major cities, such as Vélib in Paris, Call a Bike in Berlin, Bicing in Barcelona and Roma'n'Bike in Rome.

  • Major U.S. cities, such as New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston, have caught on to the bike sharing trend and are in various stages of establishing their own programs.

  • The trend has even made its way to corporate, government and university campuses as a way to keep employees and students fit and healthy.  Humana associates at the Louisville, Kentucky campus have enjoyed a bike sharing program since the summer of 2007; the U.S. House of Representatives has just launched their Wheels for Wellness bike share; and several universities including the State University of New York-Albany, Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Ripon College in Wisconsin and Auburn University in Alabama are establishing pro-bike initiatives on their campuses.