Safety and traffic law
Everyone who rides a bike takes part in road traffic. Therefore a few things must be observed, to help you arrive at your destination safely and in compliance with the law.
Insulting others may be fun, but changes very little. Whoever drives a car, for example, knows how hard cyclists are to see - especially when it gets dark. Reflective clothing helps. During daylight hours, hand signals and communication through eye contact should be an integral part of good behaviour.
Helmets give protection
No matter how much your hairstyle may suffer - in the event of an accident, you head will suffer much more. Helmets have been proved to cushion the impact of falls and may even prevent a long-term coma. Attention, smart savers! The University of Göttingen offers its students and staff good-quality bicycle helmets for 29 Euros a piece. Many bicycle shops stage campaigns with special prices for students at the beginning of every semester.
Carelessness causes damage
The schedule of fines for breaking the law is extensive. A traffic light offence, for example, will cost you a fine of up to 100 Euros and a penalty point in Flensburg as well. Using a mobile phone or cycling with defective brakes costs 25 Euros. The fine is just as high for endangering pedestrians, the weakest traffic participants. Detailed information is available here.
....well, in that case I'll just take the bike
The legal blood alcohol limit has been set higher than for motorists, but it should not be exceeded just the same. Anyone riding insecurely or even meandering along the road risks a fine up to the three-digit level, and from 1.6 per mill upwards, the driving licence will be confiscated. If this happens repeatedly, the driving licence may be gone for good.
Unfortunately, bikes are very popular among thieves, too. Who wouldn't be familiar with this situation... you dash into a shop, leave your bike in front of the door, then come back ten minutes later to find that it is gone! Observing just a few simple rules will not protect you entirely from theft, but still make it as hard as possible for the thieves.