Thursday, August 16, 2012

As Close To Zero Emissions As A Four Wheeler Can Get

Published August 17, 2012

By Philippe Crowe

This is probably the closest on can get to a zero-emissions four-wheeled vehicle – and it’s one that also brings bike sharing to a different level.

How about a bicycle built for nine? That’s exactly what people will see – and ride – at this year’s Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Can we count sweat as an emission? Or a side-benefit?

Humana is providing 20 “Freewheelin” pedal buses as a fun, healthy, green and shaded means of transportation during both conventions.

Keeping with its tradition of making healthy things fun and fun things healthy, Humana will bring 20 of its Freewheelin pedal buses – or “bus-cycles” – to Tampa during the Republican National Convention (RNC) from August 26-30 and to Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) from September 2-6.

Each pedal bus, which can accommodate eight people and a driver provided by Freewheelin, offers a healthy, fun and environmentally friendly way to get around the host cities.

“Whether it’s a pedal bus, bicycle, hand-cycle or unicycle, pedaling is good for the body, the mind and the environment,” said Mike McCallister, Humana’s chairman and chief executive Officer. “At Humana, we are committed to helping people achieve lifelong well-being, and Freewheelin is a great way to encourage people to improve their health through exercise and social interaction. People are going to have a great time riding our Freewheelin bus-cycles.”

Convention delegates, news media, convention-goers and local residents are all encouraged to take advantage of Freewheelin, which is provided free of charge. The pedal buses will follow pre-set routes in each city, making stops close to the convention perimeter and popular downtown destinations.

The driver and five riders on the outer seats work together to pedal the bus, while the three riders in the center seats can simply enjoy the ride.

Riders can hop on a pedal bus at any of the three Freewheelin stations in each downtown, which will also offer complimentary fruit, water and biometric health screenings, such as blood pressure and BMI checks. Both the bus-cycles and the stations are shaded so riders can take a moment to cool off.

Freewheelin pedal bus stations will be open each convention day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on the Sundays prior to the conventions from 1 to 7 p.m. Convention-goers can register quickly with any Freewheelin representative at all Freewheelin stations. Leaderboards will foster healthy competition between RNC and DNC riders by tracking miles ridden, calories burned and carbon offset, determining which host city is the healthiest.

Humana encourages anyone attending the conventions to take part in Freewheelin and join the conversation online: @freewheelin2012 or #freewheelin on Twitter; Facebook at; or


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