On our never ending search for African American’s history in cycling, we came across this story about the 1896 Buffalo Soldiers who tested bicycles for the Army on a 1900 mile Expedition.
“The 25th Infantry regiment was made up of black men, known as buffalo soldiers, commanded by white officers. Its Bicycle Corps began with eight riders using one-speed Spalding bicycles on loan from the manufacturer in Chicago. Their exploits are detailed in the book “Iron Riders: Story of the 1890s Fort Missoula Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps” by George Niels Sorensen (Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 2000).”
“The following summer, 1897, came the Bicycle Corps’ most remarkable adventure, a 1,900-mile trip from Missoula to St. Louis, Mo. In 34 days of riding, 20 soldiers averaged 56 miles per day. Their average speed registered 6.3 mph. Newspapers carried daily updates on their journey, and the Army & Navy Journal quoted Lt. Moss at the conclusion:
“The trip has proved beyond peradventure my contention that the bicycle has a place in modern warfare. In every kind of weather, over all sorts of roads, we averaged fifty miles a day. At the end of the journey we are all in good physical condition. Seventeen tires and half a dozen frames is the sum of our damage. The practical result of the trip shows that an Army Bicycle Corps can travel twice as fast as cavalry or infantry under any conditions, and at one third the cost and effort.” ~Lynne Tolman
We spotted the article on Tubulocity.com and we suggest you go to the site and read the whole article.
Also check out Lynne Tolman’s whole article HERE