TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
A group from Tinker’s 72nd Air Force Base Wing Civil Engineering Directorate gathered Dec. 11 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the introduction of 10 new silver and blue bikes that Team Tinker members can use across the base in four-hour segments.
The bikes are located in a bicycle hub near the dorms at Unaccompanied Housing.
“I think they’re great,” said Cathy Scheirman, 72nd ABW/CE director. “I want to ride one myself!”
Master Sgt. Jason Anderson, superintendent of Unaccompanied Housing, said the new bikes are ready for use. Each multispeed, belt-driven bike features front and rear lights, plus a battery-powered GPS system that uses both generator and solar power. The GPS system allows the bike-share program to identify the location of each bike and a geo-fence ensures they stay on base.
“There are multiple ways to charge the battery in the event there is no sun,” Anderson said. “We also carry battery backups in our office, so in the event that one goes down, we can then just go out and change the battery. It is our hope that the system takes off and maybe more units will sponsor other bike hubs on the base.
“Once there are multiple bike hubs at several locations, we can then have one-way transportation. The ultimate goal is to have as many (bikes) as the base and Airmen would support. We’re limited by the members who have cars and members who don’t have cars, as long as were supporting the members to the best of our ability I think that number will dictate itself because we’ll be able to see how many are being used and not being used.”
Team Tinker members will need to download an app to unlock and access the bikes. Michele Speziale, housing asset manager, said 72nd ABW Commander Col. Kenyon Bell spoke to her about this bike system about eight months ago.
“I loved the idea and wanted to implement it as soon as possible,” Speziale said. “After researching the program, we worked on making it happen. This is a great concept and it will help many of our Airmen.”
Speziale said the system is similar to bikes available in downtown Oklahoma City and in other cities and college campuses.
“We just need to get the word out that they are available and ready to go,” she said.