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

CONTACT:
Josephine Parr
Bicycling magazine
212-808-1358
josephine.parr@rodale.com

Fiona Adams
MetLife
212-578-8544
fadams@metlife.com

BICYCLING MAGAZINE’S “BIKETOWN USA” PROGRAM BRINGS FREE BIKES TO SEVEN COMMUNITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY
The gift of a bike unites communities and improves lives

Emmaus, PA (August 10, 2009) -What do you want to change about your life? Do you wish you were in better health? Wish you were more connected to your community? Do you wish you could save money on gas?

Bicycling magazine and MetLife have the solution: Start riding a bike. In its seventh year, Bicycling‘s BikeTown USA, presented by MetLife, will be giving away more than 200 Jamis Commuter 1 bikes to selected participants. In seven US cities, people interested in changing their daily lives will have the opportunity to see how a bike can improve life for themselves, their families, even their communities. BikeTown USA has given away over 2,300 bikes in towns all over the country in the past six years.

“In our seventh year of BikeTown USA, we wanted to refocus the program on neighborhoods, where people spend time with their family and friends,” said Loren Mooney, editor-in-chief of Bicycling. “A bike becomes the ultimate neighborhood multi-tasking tool – you can connect with your community, improve your health and travel to the local coffee shop all by riding a bike.”

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.

“On behalf of MetLife, we are proud to sponsor this year’s BikeTown USA to help 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 entries are being accepted on a rolling schedule, based on the give-away dates listed below and on www.bicycling.com/biketown. All selected participants will receive a new Jamis Commuter 1 bike, a helmet from Lazer and a lock from OnGuard.

“Jamis is proud to join the team as the Official Bike of BikeTown 2009,” said Carine Joannou, President of Jamis Bicycles. “We’ve been building bikes for 30 years and know firsthand how cycling can change lives. We are really looking forward to helping BikeTown participants achieve their goals.”

Bicycling‘s BikeTown USA markets for 2009 include:

City Date
Chicago, IL August 21
Miami, FL August 27
Westbury, NY September 3
Atlanta, GA September 8
Los Angeles, CA September 10
Jackson, MS September 17
Phoenix, AZ 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 official bike sponsor of the Colavita/Sutter Home Cycling Teams presented by Cooking Light and the US Pro Tri Professional Triathlon Team. Jamis bikes are the choice of world-class riders in mountain biking and cyclocross, including Olympian Seamus McGrath, six-time Israeli National Champion Rotem Ishay, US champions George Ryan, Kathy Pruitt, and Jordie Lunn, and Jesse Anthony. The company 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.

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