The city has a growing number of stands for locking your bike, and they can be hitched to racks on the front of most buses or carried onto subway cars (with the exception of the Green Line) during nonpeak hours ("peak" is 7–10 am and 4–7 pm. "Pedal and Park" bike cages are available to cyclists at major transit hubs like Alewife and Forest Hills Stations. Helmets are required for anyone 16 or younger.
The typical fee for a hybrid bike (with helmet and lock) is $40 per eight-hour day. Centrally located bike rental and repair shops include Papa Wheelies/Back Bay Bicycles, Landry’s Bikes, and Urban AdvenTours; some bike shops offer guided tours. Helmets are available to rent.
Boston's short-term bike rental program is primarily commuter-oriented, but it can also be a handy and fun way for travelers to cover relatively short distances. Members are able to unlock a bike from a dock, ride it for up to two hours at a time (45 minutes a trip if you choose a monthly membership), and then return it to any other dock. There's no additional charge for any ride that lasts less than 30 minutes, and the docks are in dozens of metro area locations.
The short-term Adventure Pass membership is available for 24 hours ($10) or by the month ($20), and you must be 18 or over to join. Sign up online or via one of the kiosks at each dock. Note that the prices don’t include a helmet or a lock.
Before taking a bike out, plan your route to the next dock—Bluebikes' website and the free app show docks' locations, and how many bikes and empty spaces are available at each. If you don't manage to return a bike within the alloted time an overtime fee will be charged to your credit card. Such fees can be stiff, especially if you've kept the bike longer than an hour.