Adventure Cycling Association has announced the release of Bicycle Route 66, the latest route from America’s bicycle travel experts.
Embracing the spirit of “The Mother Road,” the new route follows the famous corridor from Chicago to Los Angeles on roads appropriate for cyclists, including sections of the historic highway. The route is covered in a specially designed six-map set, allowing cyclists to tour the whole thing or ride a few preferred sections to maximize their Americana intake.
“The vision for Bicycle Route 66 is the same as the original vision for Route 66, which was to connect the main streets of rural and urban communities,” said Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling’s director of travel initiatives. “Bicycle Route 66 will be a perfect choice for traveling cyclists looking to explore the American heartland’s natural beauty, history, and funky out-of-the-way places.”
The new Bicycle Route 66 maps span eight states (IL, MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ, and CA) and cover 2,493 miles. “Fueled by nostalgia and fired by preservation-minded folks, Route 66 is a magical cross section of the nation; from the massive skyscrapers of Chicago, over the green hills of the Ozarks, the grassy plains, the awesome deserts and mountains, then down into the fascinating mosaic of the Los Angeles basin,” wrote Jerry McClanahan, author of EZ 66 Guide for Travelers. “There’s something for everyone here—the embodiment of freedom, the legendary emblem of 20th century roadside America.”
The maps feature turn-by-turn directions, detailed navigational instructions, elevation profiles, and services cyclists will need along the route. Now cyclists can explore at their own pace the surviving pieces of architecture, abandoned bridges, landmarks, businesses, and historically important communities from the golden era of U.S. Route 66. “This route can be done as a camping tour in roadside campgrounds, however there are many unique motels along the route which make this a good credit-card touring route. Eating in the old cafes and diners is part of the charm,” said Lon Haldeman, an experienced Route 66 bicycle-tour leader.
Cyclists will encounter along Bicycle Route 66 numerous natural and man-made wonders, including: Gemini Giant in Wilmington, Il, Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO, Historic Brandbury Bishop Deli in Webb City, MO, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX, Route 66 Museum in Clinton, OK, Catoosa Whale in Catoosa, OK, Petrified Forest in Arizona, and the Ozarks in Missouri. “People come from all over the U.S and around the world to travel Route 66,” said Bill Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway. “Bicycle Route 66 will enhance the non-motorized experience for cyclists touring the route.”