On Thursday, July 28th, the City of Boston, in partnership with the MBTA, MassDOT, and MAPC launched the New Balance Hubway Bikeshare Program. Executive Director David Watson was there among other advocates and officials to kick off the start of the program. We are especially excited because MassBike members make up about 25% of initial Hubway registrants!
Among the speakers were LivableStreets Alliance President Nina Garfinkle, MBTA General Manager Rich Davey, and Mayor Thomas Menino. Everyone emphasized how excited they were to have the program coming to Boston, formerly the “worst bicycling city in America” according to Bicycling Magazine. Mayor Menino in particular also stressed safety and following the rules of the road.
David took his first Hubway ride from the State Transportation Building to the MassBike office, and he has a few tips:
- Handling: The Hubway bikes handle a bit differently from my own bike, so it’s a good idea to take a minute to get used to it before heading out into traffic the first time. Ironically, this won’t be an issue for people who don’t ride their own bikes!
- Saddle: Take a moment to adjust the saddle height – there is a quick release on the seatpost. Your knees will thank you!
- Speed and Pedaling: I found the lowest gear (“1″) too easy in Downtown Boston, and the highest gear (“3″) too hard – so the middle gear (“2″) is probably your best bet. But these bikes are leisurely in any gear, so just relax and enjoy the ride.
- Returning the Bike: You need to roll the bike into the station firmly and make sure the little green light goes on, otherwise the bike is not locked in! I got it wrong the first time, but a helpful Hubway employee happened to be there to explain it.
Also, MassBike has partnered with the city to provide free bike safety workshops for Hubway members. If you are a Hubway member, please sign up for one of our classes.