By Russell Sellers, Army Flier Staff WriterMay 19, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Riding bicycles is a pastime many on and around Fort Rucker enjoy in the warmer months, but Fort Rucker safety officials warn that some areas are not as safe to ride as others.
Recently, several Soldiers have been observed riding bicycles along Alabama Highway 27. Despite the proper use of safety equipment by all observed Soldiers, Directorate of Public Safety officials strongly discourage the use of that road as a riding area.
"Some places along Hwy. 27 have a posted 50 mph speed limit and there are plenty of dangerous blind curves as well," said Maj. Jay Massey, DPS deputy provost marshal. "Those conditions don't give the riders much reaction time. It's not a safe highway I would choose to ride."
Portions of Hwy. 27 run from Enterprise to Ozark, toward the range area, Massey said. There also isn't enough shoulder room for cyclist to utilize.
There's no regulation against Soldiers riding on that road, but there are plenty of safer alternatives on the installation, Massey added.
"We have other roads that better accommodate bike riding that are much safer than riding down a major state highway," he said.
Massey said he has contacted the commanders of some of the units on post, but hopes other leaders around the installation will take the initiative and tell their Soldiers and personnel where the safe places to ride are.
According to Fort Rucker Regulation 190-5, every person riding a bicycle on the roadways of Fort Rucker has the same rights of the road given to motorists.
A person riding a bicycle must ride on a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle. No bicycle is allowed to carry more people than the number for which it was designed and equipped.
A child may ride as a passenger on a bicycle when a child seat is affixed to the bicycle. The rider of a bicycle carrying a child will have the child wear an approved bicycle helmet.
No person shall operate or use any bicycle, roller skates, coaster, skateboard, sled, or any other toy vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
The use of headphones or earphones while operating a bicycle, roller skates, coaster, skateboard, segway, sled or any other toy vehicle on Fort Rucker roads, streets or trails is prohibited, Massey said.
Cyclists on Fort Rucker roadways must ride as near to the right side of the roadway as possible, in single file when riding with other bicyclists and exercise caution when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.
Riders are also not allowed to carry any packages, bundles, bags or any other articles which prevent the operator from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.
No person riding on any bicycle, coaster, roller skates, roller blades, skateboard, segway, sled, or toy vehicle shall attach him or herself to any other vehicle.
For more information on safe riding and safe locations to ride, call 255-2222.