Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hubway Bikes: for the Post-Theft Cyclist

Back in 2011, Boston launched its bicycle sharing system, called Hubway. The bikes are locked in stations throughout the city. To use one, assuming you're a member, you use your fob to unlock the bike of your choice (I always select one with the seat at the lowest setting), and off you go.


I explain it to my mom thus: "It's Zipcar but with bicycles."

Now, any form of transportation requires both infrastructure and human will. My dear city has bike lanes as well as, er, assertive cyclists (dudes who follow cars and yell at the drivers for infractions). Drivers these days are also nicer and more accepting of sharing the road with cyclists, as evidenced by the lady in the SUV who apologized for almost squishing me because she got distracted. So the Hubway system works quite well indeed.

The bikes themselves are terrific. I was surprised at how light they were compared to my dear Trek2, which was an 8-speed hybrid. Hubway bikes only have three gears, and I sail along on my morning commute, just sail, I tell you. (Side note: internet research indicates that both my stolen Trek FX7200 and the Hubway bikes weigh around 30-40 lbs., so I must've had Trek2 on the wrong gear combination for my stubby legs.)

The best part about using a Hubway bike is not having to maintain or upgrade it. Each bike comes built in with flashing lights, a front "basket," and best of all, front and back fenders, so that I don't get a trail of mud up my butt and back when I ride during wet conditions. 

Image source: boston.com
Most importantly, the fact that I don't own them means they are also theft-proof! Hurray!!!

I highly recommend using these bad boys. When they first came out and my eager eco-friendly engineer of a husband immediately signed up, I scoffed at him. You own a bike, I pointed out. Why rent as well?

Now I shake my head at my younger, stupider self. Current me uses hubby's Hubway membership, bwahahaaaaa!!! I WIN ANYWAY. I took this as an opportunity to explain a vital Tagalog word/concept to him: angkin, which is to take as your own something that belongs to someone else. So, in Taglish: "I made angkin his Hubway membership."

In conclusion: the image below provides an excellent summary of the Hubway experience:

Image source: BDC Wire
Don't listen to the haters, Hubway. You don't have to be pretty, you have a great personality! Especially since both hubby and I get massive membership discounts through work.

TL;DR: City bike share programs FTW!

This post brought to you by a coworker's weekend baking frenzy! COOKIES OM NOM NOM

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