Boston is a great bicycling city. Sure, you have to deal with sociopathic, maniacal motorists who’ve never heard of a turn signal. And yes, you have to contend with a bunch of inconsiderate, entitled pedestrians who act like they own the road and can wander across the street whenever they feel like it, then give you a dirty look as you whiz by them. Still: Boston is small, it’s easy to get around without having to venture onto any big, scary highways, and all you need is one ride up Beacon Street or Comm Ave to see that biking is a faster way to get where you’re going than having to rely on the T.
But one of the best things about biking in Boston is the community of other cyclists who are willing to embrace new members of the tribe. And, thanks to the work of many cyclist advocacy groups in the area, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other cyclists and feel like you’re a part of something larger. Just make sure you ride safe and you’ll find yourself among friends.
Boston cyclists have a powerful ally in Mayor Tom Menino, who started Boston Bikes in order to promote bicycling through the city (which, by extension, means promoting clean air and healthy living). Since its founding, cycling in town has increased by more than 40 percent. All of which is to say that when Menino throws a cycling party, it might actually be worth checking out. And Boston’s Bay State Bike Week activities— which take place from May 17 to May 21— do not look like they’ll disappoint.
If nothing else, cyclists will have no excuses to ride hungry on Tuesday and Wednesday of Bike Week: on Tuesday, May 18, stop by BROADWAY BICYCLE SCHOOL’S PANCAKE BREAKFAST from 7:30 to 9 am for pancakes (naturally), orange juice, coffee, and camaraderie; on Wednesday, May 19, you can present your helmet at the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square between 7:30 and 9:30 am for free morning fare at the HARVARD BIKE BREAKFAST. The freebies don’t just cover food, either. On Thursday, May 20, head to Urban AdvenTours’ North End location at 5 pm for the OPEN HOUSE AND ROLLIN’ OUT RIDE, which includes a complimentary tune-up. Also at 5 pm that night, hear representatives from cycle-friendly cities like New York, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, discuss how their towns have become so welcoming to bikes at the BIKE WEEK SUMMIT, held at BU’s Jacob Sleeper Auditorium.
On Friday, May 21, cyclists can wrap up Bike Week with convoys that depart from within Boston and surrounding cities at 7 am for MAYOR MENINO’S BIKE WEEK FESTIVAL on City Hall Plaza. There, you’ll be met by a large street celebration with music, giveaways, and breakfast from Boloco. If you can’t make it that day, the city sponsors similar BIKE FRIDAYS on June 25, July 30, and August 27. But we’re not sure why you wouldn’t just go to all of ’em.