Truth and Dignity (Video)
Erick Cedeño recently finished a 41-day, 1,900-mile journey retracing the Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps’ historic 1897 expedition. We had the opportunity to see him speak about this trip yesterday, and it was one of the most impressive bike travel presentations we’ve ever seen. Find out why and watch the video about his trip here…
I had the pleasure of experiencing one of the best bikepacking-related presentations I’ve ever seen yesterday. Our friend Erick Cedeño, aka Bicycle Nomad, was in town and spoke at the Cane Creek HQ in Fletcher, North Carolina. What a treat. The subject of the talk was Erick’s 1,900-mile journey that retraced the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps’ 1897 expedition from Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri. On July 24th of this year, Erick crossed into St. Louis after spending 41 days in the saddle, following their route on its 125th anniversary. Even more impressive, Erick followed the Corps’ daily mileage to a T. This journey was part of Erick’s ongoing project to bring truth and dignity to the people who made this important piece of bikepacking history—one that’s often overlooked within our niche corner of cycling.
Before talking about that trip, Erick shared several motifs from his previous Underground Railroad missions, when he pedaled through the Deep South up to Canada in 2014 and 2020. Erick’s stories are mesmerizing and powerful, exemplifying what makes bike travel an incredibly meaningful means of connection and education. He closed the presentation with a recently released video documenting this year’s ride. And as well-done as it is, it doesn’t compare to hearing him tell the story in person. If you have the opportunity to see Erick speak, don’t miss out. In the meantime, watch the video below and then scroll down to read the story behind the two photos above:
“I could tell you who the lieutenant was, who the doctor was, and who the general was. But how come I can’t tell the names and faces of 20 black soldiers?”
One amazing story Erick shared during the presentation was about the photos below. When Erick rolled into Livingston, Montana, on June 21, 2022, he was intent on finding the spot where this photo was taken on June 21, 1897, 125 years earlier, nearly to the hour (below-left). Erick rode back and forth through town searching for the buildings. Once he pinpointed the spot, he rolled over to a nearby business and asked if anyone could help him recreate the photo. As serendipity (or something more) would have it, a few minutes later, he was speaking with the photographer who helped retouch the photo for museum display around a prior. The gentleman eagerly helped Erick recreate the photo with the perfect stance and placement.
“Dignity has to be given to those men, because it wasn’t given to them while they were alive.”
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