Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually kind of fun. That was my experience during a short spin on a Freewheelin “bus-cycle.” About 20 will be available for rides around Uptown during the Democratic National Convention, though route details haven’t been finalized. (The Republican convention in Tampa will also be getting their share.)
The shaded carts that hold six to nine people are sponsored by health insurer Humana and were unveiled this week. They will be offered free to convention goers or anyone interested in green transportation, with fresh fruit, cold water and free biometric screenings offered at “bus” stations.
I asked Dan Murrey, head of the host committee, if we’ll see the pedal buses around town after their Sept. 2-6 test run. Maybe. He said the cycles are more than a “green” alternative; they’re a “communal” experience, a chance for riders to socialize. In the last year, Murrey said, because of daily workouts and more responsible eating, he’s lost 50 to 60 pounds. Perhaps you’ll see him Freewheelin.
Was That Former “Mayor Pat” with Romney?
GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory can’t wait to get to the governor’s mansion and make up for his 2008 defeat by Gov. Bev Perdue. When I talked with Charlotte's former mayor back then, you could tell he relished a redo. He almost got his wish — his Democratic opponent won’t be Perdue, who decided not to run. But he’s ahead of Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton in the polls, and he’s raring to go.
At last Sunday’s Mooresville rally for the newly minted Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan team, McCrory enthusiastically played opening act for the capacity crowd at the NASCAR Technical Institute, shouting “I feel like I’m in Woodstock!” He said he’s “ready for a Carolina comeback.” After Romney and Ryan had moved on, there was McCrory, outside, still playing to the crowd.
Dialogue on Education
Charlotte in 2012 is hosting the next in its Access to America Dialogue Series - this one on access to quality education — on Monday, Aug. 20 at Pease Auditorium (200 Pease Lane) at Central Piedmont Community College. It’s free and open to the public. The program is supportive of Mayor Anthony Foxx’s convention legacy program of youth employment and civic education. Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree will return to moderate, and scheduled panelists include Foxx, former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt, Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board chairman Ericka Ellis-Stewart and superintendent Heath Morrison. Registration begins at 6 p.m., with the program running from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; parking is at 1225 East 4th St. in the employee and theater lot.
Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning Charlotte-based journalist, is a contributor to The Washington Post's “She the People” blog, The Root and theGrio. Her “Keeping It Positive” segment airs Wednesdays at 7:10 a.m. on Fox News Rising Charlotte, and she was national correspondent for Politics Daily. Follow her on Twitter.