Boston Turning Into A Great Cycling City
This weekend at City Hall Plaza, the Boston Cycling Celebration will be at the wheel. All weekend long, bike enthusiasts, bike groupies, or those bike-curious are welcome to come celebrate biking as a leisure activity and lifestyle. There will be family fun to be had at the Boloco Block Party, and on Sunday September 20th the 11th annual Hub on Wheels citywide bike ride will take to the streets. If you’re looking to clip in with the group, make sure that you pre-register (either as an individual, or riding with a team).
Biking isn’t so much a pastime as a way of life in Boston these days. The efforts of such organizations as the Boston Bikes initiative have made biking around Boston safer and easier for everyone. Boston Bikes is run by the city of Boston. Founded in 2007, Boston Bikes has managed to transform Boston from one of the worst biking cities in the US to one of the best, earning a coveted Silver-level designation from the League of American Bicyclists for its bike friendly community. Amongst other activities, Boston Bikes works to create and maintain safe bike lanes, monitor bike parking opportunities, repair road conditions that can lead to unsafe biking, and help businesses become aware of bikes and consequently be more bike friendly. Biking isn’t just healthy for the individual (since it’s great exercise), but it’s also healthy for the environment since it cuts back on environmental waste created by motor vehicles. As such, it’s a great investment for any city looking to stay green and keep its citizens healthy. Boston Bikes promotes bicycle use for fun, exercise, and transportation; sometimes all three at once!
Another great cycling resource that you can’t help but notice all over Boston is the ever-expanding Hubway. This bike-sharing system provides over 1,300 bikes, available at 140 stations, to cycling enthusiasts all across Boston. Memberships to the Hubway are available for periods of time spanning an afternoon, all the way to an annual pass; it’s extremely convenient for those who love to bike but have nowhere to store biking equipment, or simply don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a bicycle. The Hubway first opened on July 28, 2011 with 60 stations and 600 bicycles and was met with great enthusiasm. Over its first 10 weeks, the Hubway received more than 100,000 rides and by November 2011 boasted more than 3,600 annual pass holders. The Hubway has clearly grown by leaps and bounds, and in 2013 the city of Cambridge participated in a highly successful pilot program to keep its section of the Hubway opened all winter long. Cambridge continues to operate the Hubway year-round, though most of the network closes for winter sometime in December. While it is unclear whether the entire Hubway will remain open for winter in the 2015-2016 season, Hubway officials have said that it is their goal to create a year-round network at some point in the near future.
As the autumn weather breezes in, it’s a great time for a bike ride. Exploring the city by bike can be extremely fun and easy with customizable bike maps from Ride the City. If you’re hesitant about setting out on your own, you might also consider an Urban Adventure Bike Tour; learn about the history of Boston while dipping your toes into the amazing world of cycling in Beantown.