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Metro Newsroom

Humana Bringing Innovative Bike-Sharing Initiative to Louisville

Monday September 22, 2008

Freewheelin Rides Again! For Four-Day “Idea Festival”

Bicycles to be available Sept. 24-27 in Humana’s corporate hometown – for riders 18 or over

Humana chairman issues Freewheelin challenge: 1,000 rides and 3,000 miles

Mayor Abramson speaking at the Humana Freewheelin press conference.
Mayor Abramson speaking at the Humana Freewheelin press conference on Monday, September 22nd.

Riding high after the success of Freewheelin at the recent national political conventions, Humana is once again bringing its innovative bicycle-sharing program to a welcoming audience – the people of its hometown, Louisville, Ky. Humana will make 250 bicycles available – free of charge – to visitors and Louisville-area residents during the Sept. 24-27 Idea Festival in downtown Louisville.

“I think the people of Louisville – and our guests arriving for the Idea Festival – will have a lot of fun on the Freewheelin bicycles this week,” said David A. Jones, Jr., Humana’s chairman. “And that’s what the Freewheelin program is all about – getting some good exercise, helping to protect our environment by riding a bike instead of driving, and just having fun, like when we were kids.”

Jones challenged riders to take at least 1,000 rides and pedal at least 3,000 miles this week.

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson noted that Louisville is, “committed to being a bike-friendly community, our city offers great places to ride, and I’m looking forward to helping our hometown not only equal but exceed the challenge of 1,000 rides and 3,000 miles this week. We’re ready to ride.”

Riders prepare to take off on a Humana Freewheelin bike.
Founded in 2000, the Idea Festival attracts leading and diverse thinkers from across the nation and around the globe to explore and celebrate innovation, imagination, and cutting-edge ideas. In other words, a perfect place for Humana to offer its Freewheelin bike-sharing program.

Bike-sharing is the international social movement where bikes are situated at designated stations throughout cities for individuals to use for a specified amount of time. It is a viable transportation alternative for those who prefer an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and healthy means of traveling, especially for short trips.

“We’re delighted to offer the Freewheelin experience to everyone participating in the Idea Festival this week,” said Kris Kimel, Idea Festival executive director. “It fits perfectly with our mission to celebrate innovation, and it gives everyone at the festival a great way to experience Louisville.”

In late August and early September, Humana and the bicycle-advocacy group Bikes Belong took 1,000 bicycles to each of the national political conventions. Over eight days, riders in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul took more than 7,500 rides, pedaling nearly 42,000 miles, burning 1.3 million calories and reducing their carbon footprint by 14.6 metric tons. It was such a success that Humana decided to bring Freewheelin to Louisville for this week’s Idea Festival.

How Freewheelin Works

Freewheelin is available to anyone 18 or over to use during the Sept. 24-27 Idea Festival. Humana will have four bicycle stations at the following locations:

  • Kentucky International Convention Center (which houses most Idea Festival events)
  • Kentucky Center, 500 block of West Main Street
  • 4th Street Live
  • Waterfront Park

Bicycles will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Sept. 24-27. Riders must present a credit card and photo ID to check out a bike; the credit card will not be charged unless the bicycle is not returned by 5 p.m. Bikes may be returned to any of the four stations.

In addition, Humana is offering some signature rides each day.  
All rides start and end 4th Street Live!

Morning Toast With Edison
9:30 a.m. breakfast ride to Toast on Market and Edison House on Washington St.

Lunch With The King Of Rock and Roll
11:30 to Third Avenue Cafe and St. James Court - Old Louisville

Hoosier Ride
11:30 lunch ride to Buckhead Mountain Grill, across the Clark Memorial Bridge

Freewheelin is one of a number of initiatives Humana is developing to encourage people to have fun and get active, including everything from rewards for walking to video games that promote exercise.

Humana pioneered the bike-sharing program in 2007 in Louisville, for its nearly 10,000 Louisville associates. The initiative focuses on fun as well as health by encouraging people to get on a bike and ride with friends. Twenty-one percent of those riding were not previously involved in exercise activity.