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Thom Ross
Artist: Thom Ross, Title: Yellowstone -25th Infantry Bicycle Corps  - click for larger image
Yellowstone -25th Infantry Bicycle Corps
18 x 24 Inches  Acrylic on Paper  Sold
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"Walk-A-Heap" was the Indian name for the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps, an all-black division stationed in Ft. Missoula, Montana. In the late 1890's a bicycle craze swept the nation (remember the scenes in "Butch Cassidy" where Cassidy (Paul Newman) is shown riding a bike...that was the craze of the day.) The army wanted to know if the bike could be used as a military vehicle so the 25th Infantry was given 20 or 30 bikes and told to ride around and see what the experience was. Commanded by a white officer, James Moss, the bicycle corps made three long trips. 1st Trip: Ft Missoula to Lake Macdonald in Glacier Park and back. 2nd Trip: Ft Missoula - Bozeman - Yellowstone and back. 3rd (and final) Trip: Ft Missoula - St Louis!!!!!!!! After all this, the Army determined that the bike was not a signifcant vehicle for military usage; military messengers used them in a limited capacity. But the photos of these men riding their bikes thru Yellowstone Park are just priceless.....kind of the forerunners of today's much more sophisticated bicycle riders who now regularly travel all over the World on bikes........and these guys of the 25th Infantry were the first to do that.
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