The St. Louis Chapter honors Erick Cedeno, One of the EC50 for 2022

Erick Cedeño with (L to R): Dana Schlafly, August Schlafly, Patty Hillis, Mark Hillis & Tom Schlafly

On July 24th friends of The St. Louis Chapter honored Erick Cedeno, one of the EC50 for 2022, at The Missouri History Museum.  The occasion was Erick’s completion of a 1,900 mile bicycle ride from Missoula, MT to St. Louis, retracing the historic journey of the fabled Iron Riders in 1897.

The Iron Riders, officially known as the 25th Infantry Regiment Bicycle Corps, were selected from the Buffalo Soldiers, Black enlistees in the United States Army who fought on the western frontier in the late 19th century.  They rode from Fort Missoula to St. Louis in order to test the potential of bicycles for military transportation.  Unlike Erick, the Iron Riders rode single speed bicycles that weighted 32 pounds (62 pounds when fully loaded).  Without paved roads or even gravel roads in many instances, they rode through muddy fields, waded across streams and encountered appalling bigotry in some of the towns through which they rode.

In addition to the St. Louis Chapter of The Explorers Club the organizations welcoming Erick included The Buffalo Soldiers Historical Society and The Tom Powell Post of the American Legion, which was founded in St. Louis in 1919 and was the first Black American Legion Post in the world.

Chapter Chair Tom Schlafly addressed the gathering and noted that the history of exploration in St. Louis included travel by canoes and pirogues by Lewis and Clark over two centuries ago; and the exploration today of galaxies billions of light years away through artificial intelligence and robotics at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  He went on to say that in all previous expeditions St. Louis had been the start, not the destination.  He said that it was very unusual for a member of the Explorers Club to be welcomed by a local chapter with a flag upon reaching his destination instead of upon returning from an expedition.  Speaking on behalf of the chapter Tom emphasized what an honor it was to welcome a distinguished explorer like Erick to St. Louis.

Chapter Chair Tom Schlafly addressing the audience at The Missouri History Museum prior to presenting the EC flag to Erick Cedeño.

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The Explorers Club Saint Louis
c/o Thomas Schlafly
Thompson Coburn LLP
One US Bank Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101