By Ms. Jessica Lipari (USAREUR)April 12, 2013
BAMBERG, Germany (April 12, 2013) -- As John F. Kennedy once said, "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike."
Whether taking a leisurely bike ride with the Family, using a bicycle as a means of transportation or riding a bike as part of one's fitness routine, safety must be a primary concern.
U.S. Army Europe requires that anyone riding a bicycle on a military installation to wear a helmet and have lights and reflectors on their bike.
It is also recommended to wear brightly colored clothing or a safety vest, padded gloves and padded bicycle pants. Proper fitting of all safety equipment, including helmets, is a necessity.
Carrying an emergency safety bag is also recommended. The bag should contain at least a cell phone or money to use a pay phone, insurance card, personal identification card and an emergency contact card.
For more information on properly fitting a bicycle helmet or other bicycle safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Administration website at www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles.
When riding your bicycle off post one must respect the host nation laws and be aware that they can receive fines and points from the German Polizei.
In addition to having lights on the front and back of the bike, it must also be equipped with a bell.
It is only mandatory for children under 13 to wear a helmet while riding their bike in Germany, but studies show that helmets were found to be 85 percent protective against head injury and 88 percent protective against brain injury.
Riding while on a cell phone or texting is forbidden, as well as riding while intoxicated or on drugs. Fines for riding under the influence are hefty in Germany.
A website that has translated the German bicycle laws, is http://bicyclegermany.com/german_bicycle_laws.html.
U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg offers a bicycle safety check April 26 from 3 to 4 p.m. behind the Community Activity Center as a part of the Month of the Military Child.
In addition to one's physical safety while bicycling, one should also help ensure the bicycle's safety from theft.
Investing in a secure bicycle lock and other equipment to help prevent theft can be effective.
Registering the bike with the local military police station is also advisable as this will assist in returning your bicycle if stolen.
The MPs have to dispose of unclaimed bicycles within 45 days of being found, according to Army regulations and cannot be returned to the owner if they are not registered.
To register your bicycle at the MP station one needs basic personal information including name, rank, address and phone number, as well as basic information on the bicycle. The information required is the bike model and color, serial number, date purchased and the purchase price.
For more information about registering a bike, visit the MP station or call 0951-300-8700.