Hubway has been expanding all over the city and across the river and I think it’s a pretty great concept. As a biker myself, I think it’s the best way to get around the city. You can move on your own time (not the MBTA’s) and don’t have to worry about parking, gas or grid-locked traffic (mostly).
But I’ve had one major issue with Hubway, and that is the lack of access to helmets. I ride Boston’s streets every day and while I do enjoy it, it’s no leisurely cruise. There’s the constant danger of clueless drivers that will cut you off without batting an eye or throw their door open just as you pass by. Helmet-hair be damned, I’ve had too many close calls to feel comfortable riding without out one.
And I know what I’m getting into when I hop on my bike. Tourists that see Hubway and think, “Oh my, how fun would a bike ride be?” do not. And they’re likely unfamiliar with Boston’s haphazard network of one-way streets and the ‘boldness’ of our drivers. I could go on, but the point is, biking in Boston can be a little tricky at times and wearing a helmet is simply a smart decision. Better safe than sorry.
But until now, bike sharers have had few choices for safe riding. Sure, if you’re a regular Hubway user, you may have invested in a helmet, but for the occasional or opportunist riders – especially tourists – most have had no option but to ride without.
Enter HelmetHub. This is a relatively new company based right here in Boston that has designed a machine to dispense helmets as part of a helmet-share program that will accompany existing bike shares. HelmetHub is still in the prototype phase now, but hopefully these machines will be popping up around the city soon. Each one can hold up to 36 helmets and – don’t worry – helmets are cleaned and sanitized after each use.
Ride safe, my friends!