Humana Southeast Media Relations Manager Mitch Lubitz telle me that Humana, one of Florida's leading health benefits companies, and Bikes Belong, the nation's largest nonprofit bicycling advocacy group, announced last week a national bike-sharing initiative called "Freewheelin" that will provide 1,000 free bicycles to visitors, delegates, elected officials at party leaders at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
* Freewheelin is Humana's new "bike-partisan effort," in partnership with the not-for-profit Bikes Belong. Freewheelin aims to supply individuals with free-and-easy access to bicycles, providing them with an environmentally friendly and economical alternative to cars, while, at the same time, encouraging them to get exercise and stay fit.
* Democratic and Republican convention delegates, visitors and officials will be able to check out the Freewheelin bikes during the convention week at several Freewheelin stations located close to the convention sites in Denver and the Twin Cities, and ride them to the convention center, as well as to convention-related meetings, events and activities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and return them when they're done to any Freewheelin station.
* Biking saves on gas; burns calories; and helps the environment. Three hours of biking per week can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Toward those goals, Humana and Bikes Belong have equipped the bikes so that they can track the miles ridden and the carbon footprint reduction.
* Humana and Bikes Belong today launched a Web site -- www.freewheelinwaytogo.com -- where convention delegates and visitors, and biking enthusiasts, can get more information about the new bike-sharing program, and register online for free use of a Freewheelin bike at the Democratic convention in Denver or the Republican convention in the Twin Cities.
* Freewheelin riders simply use a credit card as security to check out the bikes at no charge during the political conventions. Helmets will be provided to all riders and locks will be available for the Freewheelin bikes.
* Seventy of the 1,000 bikes will remain in place after the conventions, and will be donated to Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul by Humana, as part of an ongoing bike-sharing program to support carbon emission reduction and healthy active lifestyles.