It’s a Hubway Life
Galen Mook is a key figure in many parts of Boston’s bicycling culture. A BU graduate (2009), Galen founded BU Bikes before graduating. Later, he founded and still runs Commonwheels, a bicycle coop located in Allston that focuses on empowering ‘the common rider, to teach the basics of riding, maintenance, advocacy, repair, and bicycle building.’ He also works with Boston Bikes to educate youngsters in schools across the city about bicycle safety and skills. As if that weren’t enough, he is a fiercely active member of MassBike, one of the largest bicycle advocacy groups in the state and a charming pedicab biker for Boston Rickshaw and Boston Pedicab. We feel incredibly lucky to have this guy on board with Hubway!
Galen wasted no time in becoming indispensable to Boston’s fledgling bike share program. During Hubway’s launch Galen split his time between assembling Hubway stations and riding around the city in revolutionary era garb as a “Revolutionary Rider”, heralding the coming bike share system. Post launch, Galen continues to be a renaissance man; he spends his days checking EVERY bike in the system, by bike of course. He also helps ‘re-balance the system’, transporting bikes from full stations to empty ones, and providing commuters bikes during rush hour. He is our lead safety instructor as well, and can often be seen educating Hubsters about safety and the system at street events.
We caught up with Galen to glean some biking wisdom from his years of cycling experience. When asked where to ride, Galen offers the Seaport district, along the harbor and out to Castle Island as an interesting alternative to the typical Boston cycling experience.
If he can give one tip to new city riders, it’s to “stay out of the door zone” when riding with traffic, and to not feel forced to ride too close to parked cars. “Take the lane if you need to. Remember we have rights to the road,” he says “If you ride in the gutter cars will treat you that way.”
Galen likes to remind all Hubway members to smile, be friendly out there, ring your bells, and say “Hi!” to folks in the streets, especially other Hubway users. “Biking on a Hubway brings you out into the city; into the environment…you may as well be smiling (which isn’t that hard to do on a bike, to be honest).”
He thinks Hubway is a great fit for Boston, since it’s such a flat, compact, active and diverse city. “You can get pretty much wherever you need to in 30 minutes. But,” he admits “You can also explore Boston’s neat little nooks and crannies for days or even years!”
Though Galen has quite the reputation in the Boston cycling community and around the shop at Hubway, he’s gained his most recent dose of Boston street cred by wrangling “lost Hubway bikes,” back into the system. Some were abandoned, while others were stolen, used for can collection, and rightfully liberated by Mr. Mook to bring them home to the system. Bike wrangler and employee bio of the month; Galen Mook, an amazing guy and an awesome Hubway employee!