The part I find amazing is the ability of these cyclists to cover 60 kms a day ....... over the terrain in Belgium during WWI, in the weather that was going on then, and with the bicycles they would have had then. These guys were fit!
I think most of us would struggle with those distances under those conditions, especially combined with all the additional work they did.
Here is some more info about the cyclist battalions:
This one is about the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion
(I like the medallion, it's a bicycle wheel.
And this is a fascinating general history of cycling in Canada, but it mentions the following:
"In WWI young men with the cycling urge were encouraged to join the Canadian Corps Cyclists' Battalion. Over 1000 men eventually did so, their duties ranging from message delivery and map reading to reconnaissance and actual combat. A battalion publication, The Cyclone, served these cycling veterans for over 50 years. After the war organizational enthusiasm was largely regional, with Québec remaining a leading centre up to and beyond WWII."
And about the Australian Cyclist Companies:
More about the Australian Cyclist Companies, with an interesting history of bicycles in war, and at work:
And an interesting paragraph (among many) in this article:
"During the First World War, France and Belgium would field over 150,000 cyclists; the British Army Cyclist Corps would eventually total 100,000 men; and the German Army would field 125,000 cyclists. Although the US Army was to bring 29,000 bicycles with it to France, these were used for communications and message carrying only and there were no cyclist units in the *AEF. (11)"
There were a lot of cyclists in that war!