Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Individualism and Imagination: Part III

Written by  August 31, 2003

Tying it all together.

As I look back at my self-determining childhood challenges and dreams, I now realize how they helped me prepare for the seriousness of riding and a military career. Both paths led me to develop the vision and skills capable of modifying just about anything to make it work; which at times varied between the desire for comfort, necessity or just plain survival. These skills did not come naturally. Some were taught, many were developed by hands on experience, and much more came through in-depth reading. I have been taught plenty by my father, friends and a few technical courses. Most of my hands on experience came via a mechanical breakdown or just adding a new chrome part to my ride. My reading has taken me to numerous topics and learning experiences, and has opened more doors to me than I can count. I enjoy doing research on exploring motorcycles and their unusual modifications. Today, information comes to me through many avenues, such as bike nights, bike shows, swamp meets, books, magazines, newspaper articles, television, and the web. During a recent research of historical documents, I discovered an imaginatively proposed motorcycle concept for use within the U.S. Army.

This unique motorcycle plan was introduced back in 1919, by Herber H. Hunt. After the Armistice, the U.S. Army entertained numerous recommendations for employing air power. As World War I had clearly demonstrated, there was great potential for military use of the airplane. Mr. Hunt’s proposal was to form a 'Mobile Aero Squadron' which could quickly transport 13 airplanes, in sections, on motorcycles. The Army must have taken this idea seriously, because the record of Mr. Hunt’s invention resides in the National Archives. However, it is unclear whether any squadrons were ever created or deployed.

Oh yes, regarding Mr. Hunt, he created and submitted the idea and drawings in hope of winning parole if the Army chose his idea. He was serving a five year sentence in a military prison for the unauthorized use of Federal property. Hmmm, I wonder if he was an ex-soldier or maybe a biker ahead of his time?

Well, these three articles were not written to win anyone over to my viewpoint, but rather to peak a little interest into the beginnings of bikers, splashed with a little history.

Bart

Ride Free

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