Swiss Bicycle Regiment

Among the 25,000 military buffs and and 600 World War 2 vehicles at the Swiss “Convoy to Remember” was this guy dressed as a soldier from an old Swiss Bicycle Regiment.

A participant dressed as soldier of the former Swiss bicycle regiment rests during the Convoy-to-Remember 2010 meeting in the village of Birmenstorf, west of Zurich August 7, 2010. Some 600 collectors of military vehicles from all over Europe gathered for the three-day event which ends August 8.   REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SOCIETY CONFLICT)

The 5th annual Convoy to Remember took place this last weekend in Birmenstorf, Switzerland.

European armies began experimenting with bicycle infantry units in the late 1800s. Switzerland established a bicycle regiment in 1891, with soldiers volunteering for the the unit providing their own bikes, just as cavalry riders had to provide their own horses. The army’s philosophy at the time was that the soldiers would take better care of their own equipment or animals, and bikes were more affordable to care for than horses.

Cyclists were initially used as a way dispatch messages in the field and save on cavalry resources. After field telephones and, later, radios came into wide military use, the role of the bike regiments changed to a kind of light mounted infantry.

When Switzerland’s last cavalry units were dissolved in 1972, the army put more emphasis on their nine bicycling battalions.

The bikes shown in the photo are replicas of the Ordonanzrad 05 and was the model used with few changes throughout most of the 20th Century. An updated Fahrrad 93 was finally introduced in 2005. When Switzerland disbanded their bicycle brigades in 2003, they were the only military in the world with bike units.

UK government figures show more people bicycling more often and longer distances.

New government research reveals that the number of miles cycled on average last year leapt 10 per cent, while the average distance rose 17 per cent. While bike sales have gone up by more than 25 per cent in the past three years, spending on new cars fell by 13 per cent in the same period.

More –> The Age of the Bicycle.

Novelist Jami Attenburg in Brooklyn had her bike stolen. She checked Craigslist the next morning to find a replacement, and saw her bike listed! Her friend Maura who “who (1) knows everything about the internet and (2) has watched pretty much every single episode of “Law and Order”” got the 411 on the alleged bike thief. Read the long story and its happy ending (mostly) at Jami’s blog. I write “mostly” because Jami reports on Twitter that charges were dropped.

Since everybody else has mentioned it, I might as well also: Apple’s Smart Bike patent.

Do you remember last spring when the UK Royal Mail announced their plans to cease the use of Pashley bicycles for mail delivery? It’s all Amazon’s fault – “An increase in the number of books and DVDs ordered through online retailers such as Amazon has resulted increased the size and weight of post bags.

Bike Hugger’s favorite social network. I agree.



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