44“I hate the ego sh*t associated with cycling. To me, it’s not a hard sport-there’s guys out there fighting wars!!” Ken Young, Armed Forces Team, 1st Cyclist to win Marine Corps Athlete of the Year
Some fight in bike races, some fight wars on bikes. Brigades carrying 45folding bikes that suit the sturdy portability and stealth of a paratrooper cover distances quickly and quietly during warfare. The history of bicycle use in battle began in 46Europe in the 19th Century.
In nations that require a term of conscription, some cyclists are able to race as members of pro teams if they fulfill light military duty and compete at Military Worlds. Some of the toughest 49stars in the pro peloton utilize this military representation as part of elite development.
Military riders are represented in U.S. collegiate cycling through teams from West Point-Army, Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy. Military involvement in cycling also includes an important contribution to competition through 47Armed Forces teams. All-stars are chosen from any branch. These athletes are expected to represent their nations at 48World Military Games. While competing fiercely on their bikes, many of these future soldiers learn a little something to remember about tactical warfare.
To remember those who served any branch of the armed forces, Memorial Day is celebrated in many countries. America’s oldest continuous race, 50Tour of Somerville, is the dominant event that marks this holiday. Flags drape over porches of homes lining the course, and the race is a parade that pays tribute to traditional battle in speed and skill. It blasts near the 51Bicycle Hall of Fame where cycling’s heroes are honored. Today let’s remember to fight the good fight so we can be memorialized with honor.
Prayer for Military Riders
“Good people are remembered long after they are gone, but the wicked are soon forgotten.” 52Proverbs 10:7
We are thankful for permanent honors. We confess holding on to belief that leads to valiant acts seems too hard at times. We pray for chances to be worthy and ask blessing upon military cycling.
Ponder Who will care to read my headstone and offer a eulogy of tribute? Affirm I want to leave a praiseworthy legacy. Watch and leave fresh flowers of faithful goodness to ensure your life leaves a fragrance worth missing.
44Conversations with Ken Young. When not pedaling, part of Ken’s service is undertaken at the Pentagon. He has a wicked sprint and can be seen tearing off the legs of the “enemy” at regional races but still manages to smile and be friendly.
Thanks also to George Gannoung for input on this topic, US Coast Guard. George is a 6-time Armed Forces Team member and 3-time World Military Games participant.
45Montague is the world’s leader of full size bikes that fold. Interesting website www.montague.com
46“Bike Mobility: Bicycles as Alternative Modes of Transportation,” by Light Dragoon on www.hardcoretalk.com
47Info on America’s Armed Forces team at www.armedforcescycling.org
48Info on World Military Games http://www.cism-milsport.org
49Jens Voigt and Janez Brajkovic to name a few.
50Tour of Somerville www.tourofsomerville.org
51Recently, new sites have been proposed for the facility historically housed inSomerville,New Jersey. By time of publication, a new home for the Bicycle Hall of Fame is likely.