Going from place to place around downtown Boston and some of its neighborhoods on rented bicycles available at various locations is a novel idea whose time has arrived. Bicycling this city, or for that matter, any great city, gives one a better perspective on city life and the experience injects a bit of the tendency toward health and fitness.
Bike-sharing, as the program is being called, makes bicycles available at several locations so that riders can transit from one place to another and drop the bike off for a relatively small fee.
In other words, it isn’t like the traditional bike rental on Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard where you rent the bike from the rental shop, go all around the island and then return the bike to the rental shop when you are finished.
There are a few caveats to riding a bicycle around downtown Boston and the immediate area.
Spring, summer and fall are suitable seasons for extended riding.
However, the late fall and early winter cold makes riding uncomfortable and in the end, impossible.
There is also the danger involved.
Riding a bicycle around here is likened by some as a suicidal experience reserved for those wanting to die.
We don’t believe automobile drivers presently sharing the roads in this city with bicyclists have been properly trained to give them the right of way.
In Berlin, Germany, for instance, bicyclists have their own defined riding lanes throughout the city and anyone hindering bicyclists in those lanes is ticketed – or run over by zealous German bicyclists.
Berlin isn’t Boston.
But the advent of a real time bicycling venture in this city is a welcome antidote to the chronic traffic afflicting the city’s crowded streets.
The mayor has once again shown some savvy in pushing for bicycles in Boston.
Bicycling is about as green as it gets and it beats even your car or a trip into the subway as a speedy way to get around the city.
Head examinations should be provided by the city for those preferring bicycles to any other form of conventional transportation in December, January and February.
Bicycles can work here but only part of the year.