With the Hubway bikeshare system, Boston is your oyster. Go explore!

A cyclist taking a load off and soaking in the gorgeous Charles River.

Get out of that dorm room, you couch potato, and glide around Boston using the city’s new bikeshare system.

Trust me. The will be the start of a beautiful friendship. So beautiful that from all the exercise, you won’t feel bad about stopping off in the North End for a gelato. And, with zero emissions, no friendship could be greener!

So how does this work? First, head to any of 61 bikeshare stations in Boston, where you can buy a 24-hour ($5) or three-day ($12) membership with a credit or debit card. I suggest the one at the Charles/MGH station, a quick jaunt down the Red Line from Tufts.

Then, ride the bike! They are sturdy and comfy, if slower than those of Boston’s veteran bikers, and traverse neighborhoods at least as quickly as the MBTA. The bikes also feature a bell, adjustable seats, and lights that turn on at night. You can park only at Hubway stations, but at least you don’t have to worry about locking the bike or buying one in the first place.

Make sure, of course, to check out TheHubway.com for safety tips and a list of Boston retailers that sell inexpensive helmets. Gotta cover that noggin, Jumbo.

By the way, if you have any questions about using the Hubway, reach me at chrisjgirard@gmail.com. I happily use it to commute.

So where should you go? Here are a few ideas:

These Hubway bikes need friends! Come ride one.

1) The Ivory Tower Tour: Start at Park Street and say hello to friends at Suffolk University and Emerson College. Then, bike to the Christian Science Plaza station and rub shoulders with Northeastern University and Berkeley School of Music students. Once you get sick of the guitar busking, head over to the station at 725 Commonwealth Avenue, where you can check out the Boston University campus, which has a million Green Line stations. (Hey! Give some to Tufts!) Finish up by riding to the Harvard Stadium station. Cross the beautiful Charles River and check out the Crimson campus before taking the Red Line to Davis home.

2) The Art Lover’s Tour: Start at South Station and ride over to the Fan Pier station in the Seaport District to check out The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston’s shiniest and (probably) weirdest museum. Then, head to the Northeastern University station to see the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and, right next door, the fabulous Museum of Fine Arts. Ride back to South Station and feel good about being so cultured.

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