Thursday, May 15, 2008

Freewheelin the Convention - 1000 Bikes For All To Use

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

The Host Committee along with Humana and Bikes Belong Coalition held a press conference at the Denver Convention Center yesterday afternoon. Host Committee President Eldra Wedgeworth, Mayor John Hickenlooper and Host Committee Director of Greening Parry Burnap were on hand for the event.

In order to reduce the environmental impact brought by the convention 1000 bikes will be dispersed throughout the city. The bikes will be available to not only convention goers but also visitors and residents of the city.

Bike stations are set up at various points around participating cities, universities or corporate campuses, with each station housing a collection of bikes which are equipped with an onboard CPU which will track and convert distance traveled, duration of the ride, calories burned and resulting carbon offset. Each station is accompanied by an unattended kiosk through which participants can “check in & out” a bike. Once the user is finished, they simply return the bike to any Freewheelin station in the program.

After the convention is over Humana will donate 70 of the bikes along with the checkout kiosks to the city of Denver. They are also working with the Twin Cities' wonderful Democratic mayors to do the same thing for the Republican National Convention.

Mayor Hickenlooper, Bikes Belong's Executive Director Tim Blumenthal
and Director of Greening Parry Burnap

After the press conference I spoke to Parry Burnap the Host Committee's Director of Greening. She explained to me the differences in focus between the Host Committee's Greening Team and the DNCC Greening Team. The DNC is in charge of greening at the Pepsi Center and transportation to and from Denver. The Host Committee is focusing on transportation to and from the hotels and events as well as overall greening efforts throughout the city.

Burnap said that shuttle buses will run back and forth between the various locations but that the delegates can get back and forth however they like. This includes bikes, light rail or any other form of transportation they can find.

Parry told me that she's familiar with DCW and had some nice words to say about the site.