Conventions Bike Project On Track
July 21, 2008
Bikes Belong and Humana will bring 1,000 bicycles to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 25-28. We’ll also bring another 1,000 bicycles to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 1-4.
Our goal is to get convention attendees to ride bikes during both conventions. We know that bikes will be perfect for short trips between hotels, convention centers, restaurants, and the convention arenas. We want delegates, officials, the media—10,000 per convention—volunteers, and the presidential candidates themselves to develop a greater appreciation and respect for the role of bicycling in big cities ... and beyond.
We will make these bikes available without charge.
The bikes will also be available to the general public.
Every participant will need to enroll, provide contact information, and secure the bike they borrow with a credit card.
We will provide a helmet to each user. Each bike will come equipped with a carrying bag or basket. Each bike will include a cyclecomputer to tally mileage. We will provide bike locks to those who request them. All of the bikes will be simple, upright city bikes—designed for comfortable, short trips.
Many Bikes Belong members are contributing to this high-profile project. Fuji, Giant, Raleigh, Schwinn, Specialized, and Trek are providing bikes. Erik’s Bike Shop and Penn Cycle in Minnesota, Bicycle Village in Colorado, and Park Tool Company are helping assemble them. Bell Sports and Trek will supply helmets. OnGuard is donating locks. CatEye is providing computers to track mileage. Pedros and SRAM will offer onsite technical support.
We will support 8-10 staffed bike stations at each convention—all in convenient, central locations.
We will operate our bike stations between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on each of the four convention days in each market. We will utilize a staff of several hundred in each city. These volunteers will serve as bike station attendants, bike ambassadors, mechanics ... and in many other important roles.
Humana, the health insurance company, is sponsoring this effort in both cities. Humana launched a highly successful bike-sharing system last year for its employees in Louisville, Kentucky. Humana is also developing a strategy to bring permanent bike-loan systems to major U.S. cities and college and business campuses.
We believe that the spectacle of 1,000 bikes—ridden on city streets by smiling people—will help earn lots of print, radio, web, and TV coverage.
We have such a great story to tell:
Nearly 40 percent of all trips that Americans make are two miles or less. Not only is bicycling a practical, efficient way to take these trips, bicycling improves health, enhances air quality, reduces road congestion, and contributes to a higher quality of life. It’s also fun!
The meteoric rise in U.S. gasoline prices is yet another reason why Americans are taking a new look at bicycling—not only for recreation, but for short trips.
This effort, like everything Bikes Belong does, is bike-partisan.