Bikepacking Buffalo Soldiers
A Detailed Account
Many years ago, Dirt Rag ran an article telling the history of an elite group of USA soldiers who used single speed bikes to travel … 1900 miles! … and test/prove the use of bicycles in military operations. Recently, a much more detailed account of it was published by Smithsonian Magazine.
I grew up near Gettysburg, the only reason I know as to why I’ve always enjoyed learning history. Proximity and family stories about Union soldiers sleeping in our family’s farm/barn fascinated me.
Learning about who/what happened through time on planet Earth still grabs me and makes for a productive afternoon in the hammock. When I read things like what is at the Smithsonian Magazine link above, I am reminded that while we call it “mountain biking,” people have been riding bikes in the mountains since the bicycle was invented. European histories related to bikes used during conflicts/war, along with today’s realities about people using bikes to transport harvested crops from mountains and country sides to markets, for example, humbles me. In between all of that, mountain people have always used bikes to get from one place to another. In some ways, it’s all been done before and we’re simply doing it with different bikes and wearing different clothes, but we do it for different reasons, most of which is leisure.
Let us be thankful for such leisure.
Here’s a little Bob to sit back and “see” history through song: