blue bikes, citi bike
Take a ride on the new Blue Bikes in Boston or on a Citi Bike in New York for free, thanks to Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images

May is National Bike Month, and now you can take a Blue Bike or Citi Bike out for a spin for free thanks to Switzerland.

Yup, the European country is trying to get more Americans to bike. Switzerland Tourism has partnered with Motivate, the company behind bike shares like Citi Bike, Blue Bikes and more, to bring free bike share rides to four metro areas.

From now until the end of May, people in Boston, New York and Jersey City, as well as Chicago and the San Francisco Bay area can try out the bike shares in their cities.

The partnership is meant to show people how “convenient, fast and fun cycling can be,” according to Switzerland Tourism.

 

Anyone can send their friends and family an e-postcard through the Switzerland Tourism website at myswitzerland.com/bikes that contains free ride codes for Citi Bike and Blue Bikes.

Receiving a postcard also gets you a sweepstakes entry where you could win a trip to Switzerland, and representatives of Switzerland Tourism will also be passing out Swiss chocolate and cheese from Motivate tricycles a few times in each city.

Blue Bikes are new to the Boston metro area, having replaced Hubways, so if you haven't tried one our yet, here's your chance. Also in Boston, you can stop by Arch and Franklin on May 22 from 1 to 4 p.m. and Lewish Wharf at Atlantic Ave on May 23 from 9 a.m. to noon to get some cheese, chocolate and enter to win that trip to Switzerland. 

Jay Walder, president and CEO of Motivate, said in a statement that “bike share is one of the best ways to explore a city,” and that’s really the motivation behind this promo. Switzerland Tourism hopes to attract some American tourists who want to explore the city on two wheels.

“Switzerland isn’t just about skiing and hiking in the Alps,” said Alex Herrmann, director of North America Switzerland Tourism, in a statement. “Switzerland offers 5,600 miles of cycling routes and 2,800 miles of mountain biking trails as part of a program called SwitzerlandMobility. Cyclists can also enjoy a group of Swiss hotels specializing in hosting travelers with bicycles. For any bike rider looking for their next vacation, Switzerland’s rolling hills, mighty peaks, and modern cities ought to be at the top of the list.”