If you’re a keen cyclist, it may interest you to know that bicycles have been used in the past to defend our country.

For example, did you know that bicycles were used in World War 1? They played an important role in delivering messages and serving on the Western Front.

In this blog, we’ll share the little known role of the 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion.

What Was The 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion?

According to the Australian War Memorial, the Australian Cycling Corps were founded in Egypt in 1916, after the ANZACS were evacuated from Gallipoli.

The 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion were mainly used as despatch riders, to deliver messages and reports for the troops.

Later, during 1917-18, the cyclists acted in a similar role to cavalry. They conducted reconnaissance and patrolling in France and Belgium. However, bicycles were not well suited to trench warfare, with its mud, rubble and debris.

The cyclist battalions also performed other tasks like laying communications cables, traffic control, unloading cargo from trains, and harvesting crops. The bicycles were supplied by the Birmingham Small Arms Company and were equipped with rifles.

Although the cyclists were not engaged in active fighting, they were exposed to artillery fire and attacks from hostile aircraft. During the war, the 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion lost 13 men and the second lost 59 men. Over 3000 men served in the Australian Cycling Corps.

Looking To Incorporate More Cycling Into Your Life?

Now that you know all about how cyclists served our country, you may be feeling inspired to get your bike out. If you’re looking for a way to spend more time on your bike during the week, why not try riding to work?

At cycle2city, our fully-staffed facilities have everything you need to freshen up after your ride to work.

Whether you are working during the day or starting in the evening, you’ll have access to our facilities 24/7. Securely store your bike, have a shower and even put your bike in for a service at the onsite workshop.

For more information, get in touch or GRAB A FREE 7 DAY TRIAL today!