Bicycles & the Military

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Oct 15, 2002
Fort Worth, TX You all may find this of interest. Despite many misgivings, the Long War (to borrow that phrase) is upon us. We should, as a society, consider the other (non-pleasure) applications of things as simple as bicycles. Spread them out to the many, develop competitions, etc. Put a little sense back into phys ed for kids. It makes sense to me to have a pack horse like this. I sure admire a folding bike that can take some and keep coming back for more. After the coastal evacuation last year (hundreds, maybe thousands of stranded vehicles in Texas) I know I'd sure feel a lot better about chances with a few of these thrown in the back for the family. It isn't hard to imagine other scenarios. 7 mph riding sure beats 2 mph walking.
Im all for using bikes for all tasks possible. Unfortunately its in vain as people exert their 'freedom' that they NEED to exhibit by buying more guzzling vehicles, giving more money to the likes of hezbollah. I like the idea of a folding bike - I never looked into them enough. Same for bike trailers, per my thread on the subject. for military apps, it seems that a robust, reliable shaft drive wouldbe WAY superior. in fact, any folding bike would seem to benefit from the cleanliness of a shaft drive. JMH
Yes, that BOB Trailer looks good. With a group one has to divide out the weight. A trailer or cart is ideal. Did you have a look at the SKEDCO in the original link? I'd like to see the old style pentathlon reintrodiced: ride, shoot, run, swim, etc. The demonstration of military skills. And do it in a team (platoon) fashion.
for military apps, it seems that a robust, reliable shaft drive wouldbe WAY superior.
Well, you'd want to mate the shaftdrive to an internally geared hub. The latter cannot be serviced in the field. While geared hubs are very reliable, if something goes wrong you'll have to walk. A good thing about the shaftdrive and geared hub combo is the lack of a derailleur and chain ring, which means more ground clearance and less fragile components. I once owned an old Swiss Army bike. It was a heavyweight behemoth, sort of like the MB 500 Panzerwagen of bicycles. It had a neat two-speed gear mechanism in the bottom bracket. You'd tap a shift button on the bottom bracket with your heel to shift into the "mountain gear." [Razz]
Granted the Pack Horse (my term) would be heavy. With airless tires, the need to carry weight and to be both field serviceable and folding, I don't know of a way around it. May need to have it re-bent and welded after a mishap. A standard, as [3] classes of bikes for kids, adults and advanced would be nice (in competitive purposes). I'd sure like to see this made inexpensively and distributed as we today talk of spreading laptops to all kids. I can't think of a civilian situation that wouldn't benefit. No power, no gasoline supplies in a city like New Orleans? Yet just a few people with Pack Horses and some carts could carry a helliva lot of supplies to others through all sorts of broken terrain. Without having to wait for "hay-ulp" from the Federal Ediot-Moron Association. Or it's problems. I know I'd have liked this as a teen and young adult. Standardized bike and gear . . and ingenuity and stamina to win (ostensibly realistic) competitions that would succeed in wartime (as Airborne troops dropped behind the lines), as well as civilian needs. No more races to the rich (with techno, $$$$ advantages), but races to the smartest and toughest. More than one good shoestring business would come about as we turned our kids loose. Not to mention us graying old farts might come up with something as it didn't cost an arm and a leg to start. We'd need the political will to start changing the way traffic moves in our cities, granted, but I think Americans can handle that. Hybrid motors and man-steered::man-powered and steered. Can carry a quarter ton-plus. Solid, simple, cast-iron reliable and easy to fix. I guess the need to make them float, to operate over snow and soft sand could make some interesting solutions to try . . . . shoot, this dog'll hunt (as an idea).
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