• Home
  • Newsroom

Freewheelin at the Democratic National Convention: "What a great ride!"

Nations largest bike-sharing effort tops 5,500 rides and 26,000 miles in just four days!

Innovative Freewheelin program now rolling on to Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Category:

Friday, August 29, 2008 5:14 pm EDT

Dateline:

DENVER

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The 2008 Democratic National Convention is history, and delegates, visitors to Denver and city residents have spoken: they want four more years (or much more) of Freewheelin. The innovative bicycle-sharing program from partners Humana and Bikes Belong delighted thousands of riders from all 50 U.S. states and 30 countries during its four-day run at the DNC.

In all, riders took 5,552 Freewheelin rides this week, logging 26,493 miles ridden in and around downtown Denver. That equals 821,304 calories burned and a carbon-footprint reduction of 9.3 metric tons. The rides/miles goal for the DNC and RNC combined is 10,000 rides and 25,000 miles; riders in Denver have already eclipsed the miles goal.

What a week it has been in Denver, said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of bicycling-advocacy organization Bikes Belong. We saw everyone from the mayors of Denver, Baltimore, Madison and Milwaukee to members of Congress and thousands of Colorado residents taking Freewheelin rides and having a whole lot of fun on these bicycles. Freewheelin has shown many people here that riding a bicycle is a great way to get around town especially for short trips. Were thrilled with this enthusiastic response to Freewheelin.

Jonathan Lord, M.D., chief innovation officer of health-benefits company Humana which is partnering with Bikes Belong on Freewheelin says the programs success proves that Americans will ride bikes for short trips and for fun, especially if the bikes are available for free and theres a safe place to ride.

We started the week hoping wed get to 12,500 miles or so. And we more than doubled that in Denver. Colorado residents alone pedaled more than 10,000 miles on Freewheelin bikes. All week, happy riders returned bikes and told us stories about the great times they had, getting out of cars and enjoying the city on two wheels.

On to the Republican National Convention

Now that folks at the DNC have already ridden past the mileage goal for both conventions, its up to Freewheelers in Minneapolis and St. Paul to surpass the combined conventions goal of 10,000 rides.

On Saturday morning, August 30, at 10 a.m., leaders of the RNC host cities will welcome Freewheelin to Minneapolis and St. Paul, and then lead an inaugural Freewheelin ride through the streets of Minneapolis. The ride will conclude between 10:30 and 11 a.m. at the citys scenic Stone Arch Bridge.

Then, on each day of the Republican National Convention Monday through Thursday, Sept. 1-4 Freewheelin stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul (locations listed below).

All about bike-sharing

Bike-sharing is the international social movement where bikes are positioned at designated stations throughout cities for individuals to use for short trips. It is a viable transportation alternative for those who prefer an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and healthy way to travel. By providing these bikes to the Democratic and Republican convention cities, Humana and Bikes Belong hope to increase awareness of bicycling.

Freewheelin is available to anyone 18 or over to use during the Republican convention. Other key goals include reducing the conventions carbon footprint and traffic congestion, while increasing calories burned and smiles on faces.

How Freewheelin Works

Bikes will be available in Minneapolis and St. Paul each day of the Republican convention. Participants who register in advance via the Freewheelin Web site www.freewheelinwaytogo.com will be ready to check out a bike from one of the multiple bike stations throughout the convention cities. Online registration and use of the bikes during the conventions is free, with all related costs paid by Humana and Bikes Belong. The bikes can be picked up and returned to any station:

Freewheelin locations in the Twin Cities are as follows:

Minneapolis:

  • South 3rd Avenue and South 5th Street (Government Plaza)
  • 1306 Willow St. South (Loring Park)
  • 206 E. Grant St. (Across from Minneapolis Convention Center)
  • Stone Arch Bridge at West River Parkway

St. Paul:

  • Crosby Park
  • Shepard Road and Ontario Street (Upper Landing Park)
  • 10 Mounds Blvd. (Indian Mounds Park)

Those interested in the program, but unable to register online, can also register in person at any Freewheelin station. Greeters will be on site at each bike station to assist with registration and route planning, and safety specialists will be available to answer questions and address concerns.

Freewheelin is one of a number of initiatives Humana is developing to encourage people to have fun and get active, including everything from rewards for walking to video games that promote exercise.

Humana pioneered the bike-sharing program in 2007 in its corporate hometown of Louisville, Ky. The initiative focuses on fun as well as health by encouraging people to get on a bike and ride with friends, just like when they were kids. Twenty-one percent of those riding at Humana were not previously involved in exercise activity.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nations largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 11.5 million medical members. Humana is a full-service benefits solutions company, offering a wide array of health and supplementary benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals.

Over its 47-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys Web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors)
  • Corporate Governance Information

About Bikes Belong

Bikes Belong is the U.S. bicycle industry organization dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often. Bikes Belong Coalition works to increase federal bike funding, awards grants to support innovative bike projects, promotes bicycling and its benefits, and sponsors key initiatives such as the National Bike Summit. The affiliated Bikes Belong Foundation focuses on improving bicycle safety, enhancing childrens bike programs, and making communities friendlier for bicyclists by backing national efforts such as Safe Routes to School and Bicycle Friendly Communities.

Contact:

Humana Corporate Communications
Jim Turner, 502-608-2897
jturner2@humana.com
or
Bikes Belong Coalition
Avery Stonich, 303-638-1586
avery@bikesbelong.org