A Nurse with a Gun

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Swiss Army Bike

The bicycle has been a staple of efficient military transport for nearly a full century. I remember seeing gray bicycles at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, the old Navy boot camp. The military bicycle is a totally utilitarian device, devoid of fashion, and frivolity. It is transportation, designed to be sturdy, last forever under arduous conditions, and to be repainted with a bucket and brush when necessary.

Recently, one of my readers turned me on to a seller of surplus Swiss Army bikes. That's right, the Swiss Army, designers of the famous tool chest disguised as a knife, and drivers of the Pinzgauer and Unimog. On looking at these bikes, I simply said "Yeah baby!" Swiss Army bikes, or Militarvelos, are fashioned after the classic Roadster bike that I covet. They have a coaster brake, a vertical rod front brake, and an extra rear drum brake. I suppose such is necessary in the Alps. The bikes came complete with dynamo driven lights, a rear rack, and a leather satchel for tools and documents. they even have a totally minimalistic bell on the handlebars. Pure lust swarmed from my chest.

I began to goggle and research articles on this machine to learn more. I contacted the supplier, only to find they had none available. Too bad.....At $350, the price was a bit steep anyway. My research is telling me these bikes should range in price from $100 to $250 or so.

I will likely not purchase a Militarvelo at this price, but I will keep looking for one. This is one hardcore utility bicycle. I want one!



Blogger Mauser*Girl said...

I think they're so expensive because lots of re-enactors buy them and "convert" them for World War II re-enactment use. Loads of the German re-enactors around here have them. :)

1:02 AM  
Blogger Not Too Pensive said...

OT: Xavier, it looks like it's not all bad news in your neck of the woods: http://www.alphecca.com/?p=746

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just about fell on the floor when I merely considered the notion of owning a Swiss Army Bike. Holy alpine cows.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

350 is a great price, trying buying one here in Zurich, they'll ask you for a cool 750-900... (not cool). The bikes are nearly unbreakable.

1:42 PM  

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