Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: News from the DNCC...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

News from the DNCC...

Kaerick and Monocot live in Denver, CO and are volunteering for the Democratic National Convention. They will be reporting from time to time when they get updates from the Committee.

I don't know how I feel about this initiative. The idea of bike sharing is a great one, and traffic is certain to be congested downtown during the convention. At the same time though, Denver is famous for causing non natives to gasp for oxygen, so I'm not sure that combining flatlander visitors and exercise is a judicious combination. When I first moved to Denver from Florida three years ago, it took me approximately two weeks to get used to breathing at higher altitude.

News from the Convention:


Mile High City teams up with Humana and Bikes Belong to bring 1,000 bikes to Denver to encourage personal and environmental health during convention

Denver, CO - May 14, 2008 - Amid the buzz of national Bike to Work Week, the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Bikes Belong took steps with - or better yet, pedaled - a new initiative today to encourage bike use as an alternative mode of transportation during the Democratic National Convention.

Denver Host Committee President Elbra Wedgeworth and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper unveiled plans for a bike-sharing program called Freewheelin, part of Denver's efforts to support healthy living and environmental sustainability during the Democratic National Convention.

The Freewheelin program was developed by Humana in partnership with bike industry leaders. As part of the multi-pronged initiative, Humana and the not-for-profit Bikes Belong will bring nearly 1,000 bikes to Denver during the Democratic National Convention in August. The bikes can be used free of charge by anyone looking for an alternative to automobiles while the convention is in town.

"With 300 days of sunshine a year, bicycling remains one of the most viable alternatives to driving in Denver, helping to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution," said Mayor Hickenlooper. "Denver is one of the healthiest and most active cities in America, so we're excited to pioneer a bike-sharing model that supports a physically and environmentally healthy community. While bicycles are part of our strategy to host the greenest national political convention ever, our commitment to being a bike-friendly city is long-term."

Denver joins a small group of progressive cities establishing bike sharing programs in the United States. Plans for the program call for 1,000 bikes to be sent to the city for use during the Democratic National Convention. Seventy of those bikes and the checkout kiosks will remain after the convention; they will be donated to the city by Humana as part of an ongoing program to support carbon emission reduction and healthy active lifestyles. The program also will establish a lasting legacy and a start to a permanent bike sharing system in Denver.

The legacy program will feature Freewheelin bike racks set up at various points around the city, each housing a collection of the program's proprietary bikes, which are equipped with trip computers. A solar-powered kiosk through which participants can "check-out" a bike will accompany each bike rack. Participants can use the bikes for things such as riding to work or doing errands, or simply taking a leisurely spin.

Once users are finished, they simply return the bike to any Freewheelin rack in the city. Participants can register for the program on the Freewheelin website, and use the site to automatically track things like their mileage, their personal carbon offset and other health information. Riders simply use a credit card or a Freewheelin key fob to check the bike out at no charge during the convention."

Denver is renowned for its commitment to healthy living, so it makes perfect sense that Freewheelin will have a home here," said Dan Oftedahl, Denver-based market president for Humana. "Through bike sharing, Denver residents will not only have the opportunity to contribute toward a cleaner environment while - at the same time, improving their health - but they also will have fun doing it along the way."

Humana piloted the Freewheelin program in Louisville, Ky., in 2008 by installing Freewheelin bikes and racks for use by employees free of charge. More than 2,500 employees registered for the program. Based upon the success of the pilot, Humana is expanding the program to other cities, as well as college and corporate campuses across the country. Bike sharing is a popular alternative used in various European cities including Paris and Amsterdam to encourage "green" and congestion-free transportation."

This is an exceptional opportunity to show how well bicycling works for short trips in big cities," said Tim Blumenthal, Executive Director of Bikes Belong. "Considering that 41 percent of all trips in automobiles are two miles or less, bikes are an ideal alternative."



Blogger Michael Shay said...

Celtic Diva: Know what you mean about adjusting to the Mile High City altitude. I too moved to Denver from Florida (30 years ago) and it took awhile for the oxygen to catch up with me. The great thing about this summer's Dem Convention bike project is that downtown Denver is mostly flat, although at a slight downhill angle to the South Platte River. Not too bad on cyclists, even those from sea level.

I'll be seeing you at the convention. Congrats on your role as Alaska state blogger.

Mike at hummingbirdminds in WYO

5/15/2008 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YayyYY Celtic Diva!!

Congrats on being chosen as our state's blogger..

But hey, you better bring me back a souvinir!!!

Why you ask? :-D ---Remember who first posted about the convention needing a blogger from each state back on February 22, 2007? ~~~ You were the only one who responded that thread that I put on KUDO! :o)

I don't know how to post links in these comment blocks.. so I'll try and type it out (but once you pull up the link, you need to log onto KUDO to read it)


I know you'll have a blast in Denver.. but you still have to bring me back something.. LOL! ;o)

~ kudokitty ~

5/17/2008 6:57 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

Since I owe it ALL to you, I'll bring something.

How about I email you a picture of me and Obama? (from my lips to God's ears!!!!!!!)

5/17/2008 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That is what I want! And you don't even have to bring a photo back here.. Just get the photo taken and put it smack dab on the front page here!!!

How cool would that be? :o)

I know you'll do a great job in Denver. And who knows .. you could start out blogging in Denver, and wind up working at the Whitehouse for President Obama in January '09 for the next eight years!!! :o)

kudokitty =^..^=

5/17/2008 7:58 PM  

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