11 July 1997

Day 28 - Broken Bow, NE to Ravenna, NE

Distance travelled: 62.1 miles
Winds: head part of the day
Grades: Up and down
Weather: fair
Condition of roads: Very good
Delays: Bicycles – 1h 30m/Tires – 15/Lunch –4h 50m/Other – 1h
Actual travel time: 7h 30m
Rate per hour: 7.8mph

- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Places & times mentioned: Broken Bow; Mason City; Litchfield [noon]; Ravenna

A troop of twenty colored soldiers from the infantry branch of the standing army passed through town [Mason City] Sunday afternoon, on their way from Mt. [sic] Missoula, Mont. On their way to St. Louis, Mo. The trip is being made on bicycles for the purpose of determining the value of the wheel for long marches. The trip through western Nebraska was very hard on account of the excessively hot weather and poor water. The troop rested one day at Broken Bow. The troop is under command of James A. Moss second lieutenant Twenty-fifth infantry. They made the trip from Ft. Missoula, Mont., to Broken Bow, a distance of 1,300 miles in twenty-five days, and expected to reach Lincoln Tuesday night.

- Mason City Transcript [Mason City, NE] July 15, 1897

The 25th U.S. Infantry Bicycle Corps of Ft. Missoula, Mont., on a trial trip to St. Louis, in command of Lieut. Moss, stopped in Litchfield Sunday afternoon and took several hours to repair bicycles and escape riding in the heat of the day. The company numbered twenty-three, all colored except the lieutenant and surgeon. They were accompanied by Edward H. Boos, official reporter, who furnishes a detailed description of the trip to the Associated Press and several papers. Bicycles has been successfully introduced into the army for speedy action at short distance, but the object of this trip is to test the advantage of the use of wheels on long marches. The presence of the company in camp drew a large number of people curious to learn the details of this mode of travel. They are averaging about 60 miles a day without trouble, and left this place about 6 o’clock.

- Litchfield Monitor [Litchfield, NE] July 15, 1897


“Sunday morning broke bright and clear, the roads dried up to make fair riding and the corps pulled away before town was stirring. Though the roads was fair the continual up and down grade made traveling very hard. It was now for the first time that we had to follow section line roads, and it was greatly to our disadvantage to have to do so, as for every 50 miles of railroad distance we were compelled to travel from 60 to 70 miles. At Litchfield, which was reached shortly after noon the corps stopped for lunch and received rations and a surplus of extra wheel parts.
From Litchfield to Raven [sic - Ravenna] a very hilly road was before us, and it was hard work to make good enough time to bring us into the latter place before it was very dark, but which was done all right by the whole corps with the exception of two of its members who mistook the road and were wandering around the country half the night before reaching camp.”
- E.H. Boos, Daily Missoulian The Sand Abundant [Missoula, MT] July 31, 1897

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