A Grand Adventure Story

ArmyBikesThis aired in 1999 on Montana public broadcasting. It’s worth setting aside some time to watch (or watch again).

The program tells the story of the 25th Infantry’s bicycle trip from Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri in 1897. The African American infantry took the trip to test a theory that the bicycle would replace the horse in transporting men for the army. The program also examines the life of the African American soldier at the turn of the century, in particular First Sergeant Mingo Sanders.

Watch Bicycle Corps: America’s Black Army on Wheels on PBS. See more from KUSM.

3 replies
  1. Robo
    Robo says:

    Funny and profound I had the pleasure 22 years ago to be at the Fort and find Moss’s journal and copied it. We were producing documentaries at the time and we did 3 minutes on the brigade. But best was on the drive to Salt Lake City in the almost white out highway conditions. I read the entire journal to Mike McCue while he drove the 5 hours. Awe inspiring at least but best of all Moss was a cycling addict and after the read we both figured him an advocate extreme and a bit bored in Missoula. Bored enough to fabricate this entire endeavor and to sell it to superiors in order to have a great ride. We all need to be like Moss.

  2. Ian Brett Cooper
    Ian Brett Cooper says:

    I read about this in Jim Fitzpatrick’s book ‘The Bicycle in Wartime’, but this show goes into much greater detail. It’s interesting that, although Lt. Moss and the men under his command proved that troops on bicycles could beat the average speed of horses in an extended journey over rough terrain, the bicycle was never adopted by the army. It’s also interesting to note that this video shows that bicycles, contrary to the beliefs held by many non-cyclists (and some cyclists too) today, can function without asphalt roads.

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