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Boston Bikes

9 Things You Might Not Know About Boston’s Biggest Citywide Bike Ride

Biking through Boston has never been easier. Mayor Marty Walsh and the City of Boston have worked hard to make Massachusetts’ capital a safe and comfortable place to explore on two wheels. Whether you’re a bike commuter, a professional cycling enthusiast or just an occasional joy rider, you can celebrate all things Boston and cycling at Hub on Wheels, the city’s largest annual bike ride. 

Hosted by the City of Boston Mayor Walsh, Hub On Wheels brings thousands of people together in Boston to ride through the city’s neighborhoods, passing by some of the most iconic landmarks in “the Hub” along the way. The ride is completely family friendly and features a festival at the end of both routes (yep, there are two routes to choose from). 

Want to learn more? Start here:    

1.  It’s the 15th anniversary of Hub On Wheels (taking place this year on Sunday, September 15, 2019). 

Fifteen years ago, Steve Miller, co-founder of Hub on Wheels, Livable Streets board member and an avid cyclist, had a vision to get more people in Boston on bikes and to get them excited about exploring the city on two wheels. That’s when Hub on Wheels was born. The City of Boston along with former Mayor Thomas Menino and current Mayor Marty Walsh, have made cycling safety a priority, heavily supported Miller’s mission and kept Hub on Wheels humming through the years. In honor of the event’s 15th anniversary, the registration fee for this year’s downtown route is just $15, college students can ride the longer Emerald Necklace route for just $25 and riders across many of Boston’s neighborhoods will have the opportunity to get free rider bibs. It’s truly a perfect day for people of all ages to come together and enjoy the city of Boston.  

2. Hub on Wheels directly benefits pediatric cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital.  

Boston Children’s Hospital is the event’s philanthropic beneficiary, and they have a powerful emotional connection with Hub on Wheels riders, the greater Boston community and beyond. A portion of every registration fee goes toward Boston Children’s efforts to find cures for pediatric cancer, but participants also have the option to make a bigger impact by registering as a “Hope Rider”—or even creating their own team of Hope Riders—and fundraising for Boston Children’s. One hundred percent of donations go directly to pediatric cancer research. Can’t ride in Hub on Wheels? You can support a Hope Rider or even just make a donation to Boston Children’s

3. EF Education First sponsors Hub on Wheels. 

After a long-time sponsor stepped away, EF Education First jumped in to sponsor Hub on Wheels. EF is always looking for ways its staff can explore the great city that’s home to the company’s North American headquarters, and the people at EF have been inspired by the way cycling unites people of diverse backgrounds in a peaceful, fun, and friendly way to achieve extraordinary athletic feats. So much so that EF bought a professional cycling team, now known as EF Education First Pro Cycling, in 2018. Cycling is an international sport that aligns well with EF’s mission of opening the world through education and the company’s commitment to bringing different cultures together. There is also a focus on team building through inclusive health and wellness initiatives at EF, and Hub on Wheels offers a great way for people to get outside and enjoy the city while supporting the important work of Boston Children’s Hospital. So, all the stars aligned for this sponsorship. Expect to see lots of EF Hello Pink filling the streets of Boston come September 15!  

4. Hub On Wheels is your chance to see Boston by bike. 

One of the best parts of riding in Hub on Wheels is getting a chance to explore Boston and so many of its famous neighborhoods and landmarks on two wheels (and to see the results of the hard work done by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation). On the Downtown Route, you’ll see sites like the historic State House on Beacon Hill with its famous Golden Dome; Fenway Park, home of Boston’s beloved Red Sox; and the beautiful Boston Garden. The Emerald Necklace Route will take you through parts of the city and then beyond, featuring many of Boston’s dynamic neighborhoods like Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, The Riverway, Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, the Neponset River pathways and more. Both routes give riders the chance to cycle down a completely car-free Storrow Drive (a rare opportunity in Boston), and both start and finish on City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston. From there—after the post-ride festival, of course—you can visit Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, The Old South Meeting House, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway—all on two feet.  

5. There are two different route options for Hub on Wheels riders. 

Not to worry if an organized bike ride seems intimidating. (Remember: Hub on Wheels is a ride, not a race!) There are two different route options for participants, one being shorter and more casual than the other. The shorter route, known as the “Downtown Route,” is just 12 miles long, features a special 15th anniversary rate of $15 for adults (kids 8-17 ride free) and is completely car-free. If you’re looking for more of a challenge (and you’re 16 or older), you can take on the 45-mile “Emerald Necklace” route, which is $55 ($25 for college students).  

6. No bike? No problem!  

You don’t even need to own a bike to ride in Hub on Wheels. You can reserve one with the event’s official bike rental partner, Urban Adventours

7. If you participate in Hub on Wheels, you just might get the chance to ride alongside a professional cyclist. 

EF’s professional cycling team, EF Education First Pro Cycling, travels the world competing in the biggest tours out there. EF creates opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about themselves while exploring the world and their place in it, which is just what EF’s pro cycling team does too. The team comprises 29 cyclists from around the world, all united under one EF mission: opening the world through education. And a few of them are planning to ride in Hub on Wheels this year (maybe even right next to you). 

 8. And you could win a trip to the 2020 Tour de France. 

Everyone who registers to ride in this year’s Hub on Wheels will be entered to win a trip to the 2020 Tour de France with EF Education First. The prize features two VIP tickets to the Tour, as well as accommodations and round-trip flights for up to two people, all courtesy of EF. Get ready to cheer on EF Education First Pro Cycling in person (and to nosh on some glorious French pastries, of course). Keep in mind, you must be at least 18 years old to win. (See full terms and conditions.) 

9. It doesn’t end when the ride ends—don’t forget about the Hub on Wheels post-ride festival. 

There’s nothing like a little celebration after you accomplish something great. The Hub on Wheels post-ride community festival is nothing shy of that. Riders, family members and friends can gather on City Hall Plaza following Hub on Wheels to grab some food (we’re talking free Boloco burritos for anyone who rides), beer from New Belgium Brewing company (for the 21+ crew, of course), music and a variety of other vendors. 

Register here and join us September 15 for a great day of celebrating cycling in Boston!

It’s Boston’s Bike To Work Day… this Friday, May 17!

Boston’s Bike to Work Day Festival, hosted by Mayor Walsh, will take place on City Hall Plaza on Friday, May 17.  The morning celebration of National Bike to Work Day will bring together riders from all neighborhoods throughout our community, and we want to make it fun for both experienced and new bike commuters.

On Bike to Work Day, you can join a commuter convoy as it rides through one of dozens of locations throughout the Boston metro area. These convoys are guided by experienced ride leaders and follow a fixed schedule and route. Everyone finishes together at City Hall Plaza! Because you rode your bike, you’ll get a free breakfast and coffee amid an expo at City Hall Plaza. Join a convoy, or just show up for the fun at City Hall Plaza. Going to work after the event is optional. 🙂

Registration is free and encouraged so we know to expect you. It will also help us ensure that we have enough food and free t-shirts for everyone. Breakfast is only for cyclists, so please be prepared to show us your bike, helmet, or Bluebikes key.

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