Taken on May 16, 1919, this US Signal Corps photo shows a new potential mode of transportation in the immediate WWI era. What is believed to be a Columbia brand bicycle has been outfitted with a metal scabbard of sorts – complete with ‘US’ embossing – that enables the rider to have easy access to his M1917 rifle.
The pedals have metal cages, kind of like stirrups, to help keep the rider’s feet in place, and a rack on the back could have been used to carry a crate of ammo or other important supplies. What’s lacking, however, is a kickstand. You’d think a bike designed to carry a rifle would have a way to keep it up off the ground when not in use, but alas, that’s not the case. The bike is shown here propped up by a pedal on a rock.
In today’s mind, this is not the most practical mode of transportation but remember: bicycles played an important role in WWI and so their post-war role, when this concept was devised, was still being determined.