|During their 1896 excursion from Fort Missoula, Mont., |
to Yellowstone National Park, riders of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps,
led by 2nd Lt. James A. Moss, at top, pose on Minerva Terrace at
Mammoth Hot Springs.
(World History Group Archive)
The 25th Infantry was one of four regiments of black soldiers enacted by US Congress in 1866 and led by white officers. 1st Lieutenant Moss carried out the most extensive experimentation on bicycle units to test the practicality of the bicycle for military use in mountainous country and to show that cycling was faster than marching and cheaper than traveling on horseback. Lt. Moss and his troops carried out extensive bicycle journeys covering between 800 and 1,900 miles (1287 to 3058 km). Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Montana rode bicycles across roadless landscapes for hundreds of miles at high speed. The "wheelmen" traveled the 1900 Miles to St. Louis MO in 34 days travel time with an average speed of over 6 mph.
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