Bike blessing, safety rally

by Airman 1st Class D. Blake Browning
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

As a kick-off to the spring season, motorcyclists of the Kaiserslautern Military Community are scheduled to host a ‘Blessing of the bikes’ at 10 a.m. Saturday on Vogelweh.

“What we’re looking at doing is having a chaplain come out,” said Bryan L. Osborne, 86th Airlift Wing equal opportunity director and member of the Ramstein military chapter of a Harley owners’ group. “It’s very customary for a ‘Blessing of the bikes’ at the beginning of the season or through the season.”

Photo by Jag_cz /

The event is meant to remind riders of all skill levels of good biking habits and the importance of motorcycle safety.

“When you haven’t ridden for a while, sometimes those skills can diminish over the winter time,” said Osborne. “Come down, see bikes, talk about safety, get the motorcycle checked out, let new riders or riders who want to ride take a look, talk to experienced riders, and knock the rust off for safety.”

Riders of all experience and interest levels are urged to come out to the event and possibly learn a few new things.

“We’re not going to be hard to find; we’re going to have the parking lot roped off,” said Osborne. “We’re going to be out there and we’ll talk to anybody about motorcycling.”

“We want to make sure people are safe,” said Osborne. “So this event is our chapter event but we are not going to turn anyone away as far as coming out, checking their bike out for them, looking at the fluid levels, doing a good check on their lights and making sure everything is operating for them the way it should be.”

Following the event, motorcycle enthusiasts scheduled to journey to the Moselle River out by Bernkastel-Kues.

Across the Air Force in the past year alone, there have been 206 reported motorcycle accidents resulting in seven fatalities, three permanently partially disabled individuals and one permanently disabled individual.

“Here in Germany you’ve got radical elevation changes, you’ve got difference in pavements, and a lot of patch work,” said Osborne. “And we’re going to take riders on the autobahn; we’re going to take them through some backroads, through some villages, show them some riding techniques on how to ride safely in Europe. It’s a lot different than stateside.”

Being one of the top 10 largest motorcycle programs in the Air Force, it is essential to emphasize the importance of safety for all riders in our community.

“I think when it comes to safety,” said Osborne, “motorcyclists know the risk that we’re taking. We accept that risk by getting on the motorcycle, starting it up, and putting it in motion. We need vehicle drivers to be aware of us out there. It’s hard to see us sometimes because we blend in with the environment. We do everything we can to make ourselves visible. So look out for us, we’re looking out for you and we are just like you. We’ve got families, jobs, careers, and loved ones we want to get home to them just like you do. So help us out.”