Bicycling Magazine’s “BikeTown USA” Program Brings Free Bikes To Eight Communities Around The Country

Line-up of new cities for 2010 will change lives and inspire communities

New York, NY (July 29, 2010) -How could a new bike change your life? Do you want to be healthier and more active? Wish you spent more time in your community and less time in a car? Would you like to save money on gas and live a greener life?

Bicycling magazine and MetLife have the solution: Start riding a bike. In its eighth year, Bicycling’s BikeTown USA, presented by MetLife, will be giving away 240 Jamis Commuter 1 bikes to selected participants. In eight US cities, people will get the chance to find out how a new bike can change their life, their families – even their communities. BikeTown USA has given away more than 2,300 bikes in towns all over the country in the past seven years.

“Across the country, cities are becoming more bike-friendly, knowing that biking helps make a community safer, healthier and more environmentally minded,” said Peter Flax, editor-in-chief of Bicycling. “Cycling can change a person’s life, and BikeTown helps people get started. Whether people want to improve their health, spend more time with their family by riding with the kids, save money on gas or lose weight – the key to it all can be a bicycle.”

Anyone interested in receiving a new bike simply needs to tell Bicycling, in 50 words or less, how having a Jamis Commuter 1 bike would help make a change in his or her life. Bicycling’s editors will select what they feel are the 30 best essays in each city and the selected writers will each receive a bike to keep.

Bicycling tracks participants’ progress for three months, with results featured in the magazine and on Bicycling.com. Previous stories have been astonishing – thousands of pounds have been lost, blood pressure and diabetes medications dropped, marriages saved, impromptu bike clubs started, and countless bike commuter miles logged to save money on gas and help the environment. In essence, thousands of people enjoy their lives more because they spend more time on a bike.

“MetLife is proud to once again sponsor this year’s BikeTown USA which helps bring bicycling to people across the United States,” said Michael J. Vietri, executive vice president, Individual Distribution, MetLife. “As a company, we have a long-standing history of community involvement and are particularly focused on people’s health and well-being. Through bicycling, our clients and their friends and families have an outlet to relieve stress, improve their health and have fun.”

Participant essays are being accepted at www.bicycling.com/biketown on a rolling schedule based on the give-away dates listed below. All selected participants will receive a new Jamis Commuter 1 bike, a helmet and a lock.

“Jamis is proud to return as Official Bike for BikeTown 2010,” said Carine Joannou, President of Jamis Bicycles. “Cycling is more than a sport – it’s the foundation for a healthier, happier, and greener way of living. We’re pleased to provide our Commuter 1 bikes to help BikeTown participants achieve their goals.”

Chris Lambiase, Bicycling VP/Publishing Director, added “As biking continues to grow, so does the influence of Bicycling’s BikeTown USA, giving away more than 2,300 bikes in cities around the country the past seven years. We’re thrilled that MetLife has returned to sponsor the program again, recognizing BikeTown as an important vehicle to extend their values and positively impact local communities.”

Bicycling’s BikeTown USA markets for 2010 include:

City Date
Cleveland, OH August 11
Indianapolis, IN August 14
Denver, CO August 20
Boston, MA August 27
Minneapolis, MN August 31
“Best Buddies” CA Giveaway Sept. 8 (Los Angeles), Sept. 11 (Hearst Castle)
New Orleans, LA September 15
Charleston, SC September 26
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About Bicycling
As the world’s biggest bicycling magazine, Rodale Inc.’s Bicycling is the voice of cycling, providing the stories on the personalities, trends, and techniques behind the sport. Appealing to readers of every ability and interest level, the magazine features expert reviews of the latest equipment as well as training and fitness tips. Published 11 times a year, Bicycling is the magazine for the athlete for whom the bicycle is the centerpiece of an active lifestyle. For more information, please go to www.bicycling.com.

About MetLife
MetLife, Inc. is a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

About Jamis Bicycles
Jamis Bicycles rolled out the first Earth Cruiser bicycle in 1979 and has since built a reputation as a brand unmatched in performance, value, and style. Jamis Bicycles are sold in the US from coast to coast and in over 40 countries. A unit of G. Joannou Cycle, one of the oldest and largest bicycle companies in the US under original family ownership, Jamis is committed to advancing all forms of cycling. The company is the title sponsor of the Jamis/Sutter Home Men’s Pro Cycling Team presented by Colavita and official bike sponsor of the Colavita/Baci Women’s Pro Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light and the US Pro Tri Professional Triathlon Team. Jamis bikes are the choice of professional triathletes Laura Bennett, Stephen Hackett, and Lesley Patterson along with world-class riders in mountain biking and cyclocross, including the Team Jamis professional XC team, US gravity stars Kathy Pruitt, Jordie Lunn, and George Ryan and cyclocross champ Jesse Anthony.

Jamis also supports elite athletes through its partnership with Full Throttle Endurance and the GS Mengoni USA Cycling Team. Jamis is the Exclusive Bike Partner of Bicycling’s BikeTown USA, presented by MetLife, and the company’s grant to Transportation Alternatives has made possible the largest bicycle valet program in New York City’s history. For more information, visit www.JamisBikes.com.

Media Inquiries

Manager, Communications, Bicycling Nick Sowards Nick.Sowards@Rodale.com 212-573-0243
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