Horses? We don't need no stinking horses. Not when we have bicycles.

It's a lot harder to peddle all this way but bikes are easy to care for.

A GPS-activated audio tour will soon be launched commemorating a 1,900-mile trek undertaken in 1897 by Buffalo Soldiers of the 25th Infantry Regiment's Bicycle Corps.

Yes, Bicycle Corps.

At the time they were known as the Iron Riders. They got that name because their bikes were made of iron.

By today's standards, those bikes were heavy and horrible. They did  not have brakes, and the tires were nothing more than wagon wheels with an iron rim and wood glued to it

At the time it was a test to see if biking was better than riding horses. They did it by sending soldiers from Fort Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri.

"Across the Continental Divide, the Sandhills of Nebraska, Alkali Flats of Wyoming," Knapp wrote. "By the time they even got to Sheridan, they had already been on the road for two weeks, and had been through sleet and hail and mud."

As a driver, if you're using GPS you'll see markers along a 40-mile stretch from Sheridan to Clearmont. Those markers will trigger audio narration, through an app. From there you can track the Iron Riders in Wyoming.

The tour is supported by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The system should be up and running by June 19.

Try to imagine biking, on the primitive roads at that time, in five states over 41 days.

The Iron Riders were asked for feedback on how to make the trip better.

"These are the guys that are responsible for what we know as modern tires," Knapp said. "The new tires they were testing out on this journey in 1897 were the first pneumatic, rubber, air-filled tires ever attempted."


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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods