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25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps' Epic Bicycle Ride

6/11/2023 | Cuivre River State Park | Troy, MO

In June 1897, the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps, an all-Black unit also known as “Buffalo Soldiers," embarked on an epic bicycle ride of more than 1,900 miles from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri. Called “The Great Experiment” in national newspapers, the ride was part of a trial by the U.S. Army to determine the effectiveness of moving troops by bicycle. The route for this experiment closely followed the Northern Pacific and Burlington railroads through Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri, and took 41 days to complete.

Nicknamed the Iron Riders because of the heavy one-speed bicycles they pedaled and for their iron-hard constitutions, the soldiers endured conditions along the route that would have daunted even the most avid of modern-day cyclists. After the riders camped in Louisiana, Missouri, the last leg of their journey to St. Louis would have taken them through Lincoln County near Troy.  

On Sunday, June 11, Missouri State Parks interpreter Kevin Smith will give a presentation on this epic journey at the Recreation Hall in Camp Sherwood. Kevin will be dressed in a Buffalo Soldier uniform and have a replica of the bicycle used on the journey. Join us at 1 p.m. for this unique opportunity to learn about an epic tale of endurance, strength and bravery. Camp Sherwood is located within the park on Camp Sherwood Drive; special event signs will direct visitors to the location of the presentation.

During the month of May, the park's visitor center will feature an exhibit about the journey of the Iron Riders. Both the presentation and the exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information, call the park office at 636-528-7247.    

To learn more about the Iron Riders, click here

Presentation Time: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Click here to read the news release.

Cuivre River State Park is located at:

678 State Route 147, Troy, MO | 636-528-7247

Associated activities

  • Interpretive Programs