Release Date

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, May 31, 2023 – Cuivre River State Park will host a presentation Sunday, June 11, on a legendary bicycle ride that spanned more than 1,900 miles. Missouri State Parks will lead visitors through this whale of a journey from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Recreation Hall in Camp Sherwood.

In June 1897, the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps, an all-Black unit, also known as the “Buffalo Soldiers," embarked on an impressive bike ride from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis.

Named “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 their iron-hard constitutions, the soldiers endured conditions along the route that would have daunted even the most avid 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.

During the presentation, Missouri State Parks interpreter Kevin Smith will be dressed in an authentic Buffalo Soldier uniform and have a replica of the bicycle used on the journey. Join him for this unique opportunity to learn about a colossal 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.

Cuivre River State Park is located 5 miles east of Troy at 678 State Route 147. For more information, call the park office at 636-528-7247.

For more information on state parks and historic sites, visit Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Contact Information