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  • Sun August 17 2008
  • Posted Aug 17, 2008
Minneapolis - St. Paul It's touted as a non-partisan way to get around town and its free. Minneapolis and St. Paul will share 1,000 bicycles during the Republican National Convention. As Gary Sjoquist looked at the hundreds of bikes stored in a warehouse in Saint Paul he viewed a storage room full of potential. "We work with both democrats and republicans because we are after all bike partisan," said Sjoquist, who is part of the program Bikes Belong. The group has teamed up with Humana and the Freewheeling program to provide the transportation service and educate others about the power of the bicycle. "Air quality, childhood obesity, all the pressing issues we have, sedentary lifestyles that's not a Democratic or Republican issue," said Sjoquist. A thousand bikes will be made available at both the Democratic National Convention in Colorado and the Republican National Convention here. Brand new bikes, worth hundreds of dollars will be yours for free, for a limited time, once you check it out you must return it. To ensure riders return them, similar to other rentals, you have to check the bike out with a credit card and will have to return it by 7:00pm that night. "Every time that bike is used we'll know how far that person rode and we'll be able to transmit into the kind of data we use that Humana uses to show how effective bicycles can be," Sjoquist said. Each bicycle is fitted with an odometer which will show you how many miles were traveled, which translates into less carbon emission, less gasoline usage and more exercise, and potentially leading to more bicycle riders. After the R.N.C., the bike program will continue in both cities with nearly a hundred bikes that will remain available for free. By the way, free bike helmets will be available and sanitized between each use. Click here for more information about the free bike program http://www.freewheelinwaytogo.com/FWWelcome.aspx

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