Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Freewheelin Rides Again

I remember a t-shirt from when I was in high school that read, "I'm back - by popular demand." Well, if a bikesharing program could wear a tshirt, THAT is the one that freewheelin would be wearing today.

Kicked off brilliantly by Tony Tomazic (see video above - Haiku is the ONLY medium that could have so efectively described the attributes of bikesharing), we're ready to take the Idea Festival by storm. For those of you who don't know, the Idea Festival is a global forum for innovators to come together and share ideas. Hopefully, really good ones. And certainly, ideas that will improve due to riding a free, brand-new bike around town.

As usual, the "way to go bloggin' crew" will be out and about, blogging, twittering and talking to people, so stay tuned. And if you're NOT lucky enough to be in Louisville this week, you can get a great sense of the experience through our live webcams . . . the ultimate in reality TV, brought to you all week at the Freewheelin Community page.

And don't forget . . . if you've experienced freewheelin in Louisville, Denver or Minneapolis/St. Paul, please share that experience with the community . . . we're collecting stories, pictures and videos at our flickr page (just click the linked button on the right . . . or follow this link if you're really lazy).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Making Moves

Things have been pretty exciting here in the innovation center. We're gearing up for Freewheelin 2.0. Freewheelin is coming to Louisville, KY for the 2008 IdeaFest. We're going to have over 300 bikes out in four stations for the entire community to enjoy! Just show up to the tent, register, and enjoy your free ride.

To kick off the event Louisville's Mayor Mayor Abramson joined Humana Chairman David A. Jones Jr. in welcoming bikesharing to the Possibility City at a press conference held in front of the Humana Building. The kind words were followed by a nice, breezy ride around the block. I have a good feeling about this week. Enjoy the video, made with a flip video camcorder. Warning, its really shake-full.

In other news: As the social media team, Greg and I are in charge of telling the story of our success bringing the networks of the internet news of freewheelin and enjoying the outpouring of support from bloggers, tweeters, facebookers and more. We're in stage one of making this movie (which will of course be posted here when its done), but we met with the production team and refined our script this morning. Here is part one of our adventure.

UPDATE: People are blogging about freewheelin already:
Probably because of the news:

And Lastly, Greg's perspective of the Freewheelin Louisville Kickoff

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fan Film Slide Show

Some awesome fan out there decided to make a slide show video and sent it our way. You can click through to watch in high quality. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Funny Washington Post Video

I hadn't seen this yet--freewheelin was mentioned in a video by the Washington post, although they didn't identify Bikes Belong or Humana. Still pretty funny though.

Some other great coverage by TheWashCycle:

And a Comprehensive look by Sustainability in Business:

There are many many many more blog posts about Freewheelin. Look up freewheelin, bikes, bikesharing, biking, DNC, or RNC at Technorati to find more.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

From Dusk till Dawn

It’s the last day of Freewheelin at the RNC. Morning sunlight is just beginning to shimmer on the ripples in the fountain of Government Plaza and the first curious wonderers who haven’t tried Freewheelin are passing through our tent. They move like curious children at first—-peeking from behind the pant legs of their doubts, unsure if their money will be taken, skeptical of our motives. Some of them ask us why we’re here, whether our drive is profits and if we really care about biking at all. All of us are ready to answer these questions. Not because we’re prepared with scripted responses or the language of the corporate soap box, but because we know the rush of freedom a two wheeler gives us. We’ve lived and breathed the daily exhilaration possible only from motion not bound by our own two feet.

It’s beautiful in Minneapolis this morning. The sky is shifting from midnight black to a vast, cloudless slate of blue in slow, unnoticeable gradients. The sun floats up to its zenith and encourages a breeze that whips at our faces; cool, not icy, like cream or tapioca. It’s a self-sustaining pudding wind. Riding through the streets in this weather, past parks and rivers, up hills and paths, you really get a sense of your body’s inner function. Your heart beats as you pump; your breathing fills your ears. You’re aware of every nerve and sinew, every bead of sweat forming in pores on your back, and every vessel dilating as your legs scream in protest. When you really push it, you become conscious of each molecule of oxygen filtered through each cell in your blood.

The Freewheelin Ideal is bigger than the betterment of our environment or the improvement of our health. It’s about understanding how human beings have the power to change the world, starting with the way we understand our world. Once we know ourselves we look at the planet through unclouded eyes and recognize the beauty of nature in each blade of grass we've trampled and each budding seed we've passed. We appreciate the distances we cover and the magnificent wonder inherent in that space.

You think all of this understanding can’t come from a bike ride. And you’re right. All of this understanding comes from having an open mind. A free mind. The bike is just a vehicle for you to explore the space around you and experience it with liberated perception. We want to give you a way to feel that breeze on your face and appreciate the fact that you made your body move fast enough to enjoy it.

The sun will soon set on the last Freewheelin tent this Convention will ever see. Why not join us for a ride?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NBC personalities give freewheelin a whirl

Freewheelin's opening day saw lots of interesting things . . . not the least of which were rides from chief white house correspondent David Gregory (pictured here with Bikes Belong Executive Director Tim Blumenthal) and former NBC Nightly News host Tom Brokaw. Mr. Gregory checked his bike out (appropriately) from Government Plaza. Mr. Brokaw was in St. Paul at Upper Landing Park . . . luckily checking his bike out several hours before the station had to be closed due to protests.
That's the thing about freewheelin; you never know what each day will bring!

Freewheelin - On the front page of

Check this great post from CNN . . .

Red Cross Recognizes Humana's Efforts

I had the pleasure of meeting Jan McDaniel, the CEO of the Twin Cities Red Cross, yesterday. We talked about freewheelin's plan to donate $10 for every freewheelin mile ridden, which we're both excited about. After some discussion with Jan's communications team, we were able to post our announcement on the twin cities' web site, and have made contact with the national headquarters as well. As of this posting, freewheelin has raised over $40,000 in just over a day for those displaced by Hurricane Gustav . . .

Snow Effect