Remembering Cyclist Soldiers
on 16 November 2013
In honor of 11 November (Veterans Day in the US, Armistice and Remembrance Day elsewhere), we look to one of the more forgotten ranks of soldiers, the cycling regiments most common in World War I and II. Trevor Ward's piece in the Guardian details the history of the bicycle's role in war, from its first use in the second Boer War in South Africa to the disbandment of the last cycling regiment in the Swiss Army as recently as 10 years ago. Cyclist soldiers were used in reconnaissance missions and folding bikes were even used by some paratroopers upon touchdown. In contemporary drone warfare, the idea of a bicycle playing a role speaks to vast changes in technology since the World Wars and sheds light on a special class of veterans who are often overlooked.