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Great pictures, but got me wondering: What did they use the bikes for - were these all messengers? Were they effective? Anything special about a combat bicycle?

I don't know. I think there is a great book about Bikes in the Military that is waiting to be written, and I'm accepting all 6 figure book deal offers to that effect.

[insert war on cars joke here]

@John: bikes let you move a heck of a lot faster than you can on foot, with much less logistical overhead.

Modern armies tend toward assuming that fuel is unlimited and eschew human-powered options. No doubt we'll eventually find out that they are well prepared to fight the last war.

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