Capital Bikeshare’s signature red bikes, a constant presence on the region’s roads and sidewalks, are about to be joined in Arlington by a wave of matching red helmets.


One of the coupons, offering a free helmet at any Commuter Store, proved so popular that nearly all of the 550 helmets have already been snagged since the coupon hit the streets last week.

“It wasn’t intended to be an endless supply,” said Chris Eatough, program manager for Bike Arlington. “It was meant to be a short-term promotion.”

There are only a few helmets remaining, so contact your nearest Commuter Store before you head out to see if they have any left. As of 10 a.m. this morning, the mobile Commuter Store parked in Pentagon City had some helmets left.

Arlington has no immediate plans to buy more helmets, but they might consider it, Eatough said.

The helmet coupon also gets you a flashing safety light. There were twice as many lights as helmets, so there are still plenty of lights available.

The other coupons give bicycle riders a free 24-hour Capital Bikeshare membership and $10 off of membership in the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

Bike Arlington regularly gives out similar Bikeshare coupons at events, but sending them out with the Citizen will let them gauge the impact of a county-wide mailing, Eatough said.

The helmets and flashing lights are part of an overall effort to emphasize bicycle safety in the county this year, which will include a series of events highlighting issues such as bicycle routes and proper equipment use.

The Capital Bikeshare program has grown to include more than 1,100 bikes offered at more than 130 locations in the region.

Arlington County has 26 stations now and another 24 stations are scheduled to open this spring. The county also plans to add another 25 stations in 2013, Eatough said.

All of Arlington’s current stations are in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and the Pentagon City-Crystal City area. There are bikes as far west as the Arlington Central Library on North Quincy Street and, to the south, on Potomac Avenue just north of Potomac Yard.

Helmets are legally required for riders age 15 and younger in Washington and for age 14 and younger in Arlington and Alexandria. For anyone older, helmets are merely strongly recommended.


Bikeshare expanding into Washington’s suburbs.

Members explain why they use Bikeshare to commute.