HHG Note: Miles ridden at both conventions? 41,724 miles in 8 days. Wow!
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.
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.
BUSINESS WIRE --Delegates, visitors to Denver, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and residents of the host cities for this year’s national political conventions made it clear over the past two weeks that they enthusiastically endorse bicycle-sharing for the good of America’s health and environment.
“We’re thrilled with the energy we felt and the feedback we received from everyone who took a Freewheelin ride at the conventions,” said Jonathan Lord, M.D., Humana’s chief innovation officer. “From the young man who learned to ride a bicycle on his first Freewheelin ride to the gentleman who rode more than 100 miles in an effort to support hurricane victims, Freewheelin demonstrated the enormous potential of bike-sharing in the U.S.”
Before the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, with Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast, The Humana Foundation and Bikes Belong Foundation said they would jointly donate $10 for each mile pedaled at the RNC. The 15,141 miles ridden in Minneapolis and St. Paul translate into a donation to the American Red Cross hurricane-relief fund of $151,414.
Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong, believes the success of Freewheelin at the conventions signals a turning point for bicycling and bike-sharing in the U.S.
“At each convention, elected officials from across the nation took rides, watched their friends and relatives have fun with Freewheelin, and witnessed the benefits of riding bikes for short trips,” Blumenthal said. “Now these same elected officials are returning home with new information and new enthusiasm about what bike-sharing could mean for their communities.
“When you consider that nearly half of all car trips in the U.S. are three miles or less, gas prices continue to hover at record levels, and Americans are getting more serious about protecting our environment, I’m hopeful we are seeing the beginning of a new golden era of bicycling transportation in our country.”
Dr. Lord, of Humana, added: “The obesity epidemic is causing a health crisis in our country. We eat too much and exercise too little. Promoting bicycling enables us to start down a new path in an effort to encourage Americans to take action if they want to live healthier lives.”
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