"The Mother Road"
"Will Rogers Highway"
"Main Street of America"
Call it what you will, this is a GAS!
(Get it? That's a joke ... cars, gas ... oh heck, never mind.)
Yup .. The Great American Road Trip! Think Hollywood, the Sierras and Rocky Mountains, high deserts, grasslands and cornfields, a road that sings, historic neon-laced motels, grubby eateries, kitchy roadside spectacles and spectacular vistas, ghost towns and bustling cities. Think John Steinbeck, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Will Rogers ... and Elvis? Model-T's and AAA, hot rods and hot dogs, Harleys and haboobs. An epic bit of mid-20th century, pre-interstate American history that will sear it's way into your memory forever.
Even better ... we're BIKING it!
I sit here at the computer this winter, doing my route research, making overnight reservations, creating GPS track files for the route, and loads of other tasks all the while trying to contain my excitement about leading another Epic Adventure Cycling Tour: Route 66 Eastward!
This one is different from last spring's van-supported Southern Tier that I co-led. First, it's self-contained ... no van support. Just you, your bike, your camping gear and up to 14 new friends including just one leader (yours truly) meandering across the country together. We will camp most nights, typically some RV parks, private and state park campgrounds. We'll hole up a few times in hippie-like hostels a few times, and we'll break it up with a motel stay every week or so that will seem downright luxurious.
And this one is different in another way. Adventure Cycling's Route 66 Bike Route is one of our newest routes, and the maps were only officially released in the spring of 2015. That means our group leaving Santa Monica on April 17th is our first ever guided tour. We will be the inaugural group, and you might even say historic! More technically … we are the "Beta-Testers". Although nearly 4 years of research went into developing the route, and many individuals and small groups have roughly toured the approximate route, this will be Adventure Cycling's first go at it. My job, in addition to assuring my group has the adventure of a lifetime, is to document, in great detail, everything of interest to cyclists along the route; I'm to gather all the intelligence successive tour groups might rely on to make their tours fun, memorable, well supplied, and safe.
My research to date has revealed countless POI's (points of interest) and I'm certain many more will reveal themselves as we make our way to Chicago. This tour will be as much about the history of Route 66, as it will be the sights, sounds and smells of the spaces, music and eateries that makes up America's Mother Road.
This 55 day tour is rated Advanced. Daily mileages average 55 miles and range between 30 and 75 miles a day. We plan on a rest day every 7 to 10 days. You might be a beginner cyclo-tourist ... you'll learn a LOT along the way ... but you should be capable of riding a loaded bike up to 75 miles a day for several days in a row with some significant weather challenges. Temps can range from freezing overnights to blistering hot days. Water can be a problem in some stretches out west, so carrying enough is concern but not impossible. We (and that includes your leader) will be sharing cooking duties on a rotating basis. Nothing special, no gourmet dining, but if you can cook a pot of stew on a camp store, you're good to go. If not, I can show you how easy it is. Two months before the start date, we will open a Google Group email account for this tour where I'll be sharing weekly tips on tour preparation and our group can discuss anything about extended loaded touring in general and this route in particular. On day one, we'll be ready for an adventure!
Let me share a paragraph from Adventure Cycling's website about "Epic" tours like this one ...
"Someday. I’m going for it. The big one. The moon shot. People will talk about me when I’m not around. Hardship and ecstasy will leave their marks on me forever ..."
Yeah ... that about sums it up. Why not make that "someday" happen in 2016?
Join me April 17th in Santa Monica California. Let's get our kicks on Route 66!
Sign up at: http://tinyurl.com/nlosr55
More Rt 66 News
Brian Managan - Tour Leader and Life Member
Adventure Cycling Association