If you’ve always wanted to take a trip down Route 66 by bicycle, then you’re in luck. For many years there were large sections of the route that were not in great shape and were unsafe for cyclists. However, that all changed in March of 2015. New maps were created which help cyclists avoid some of the danger spots. Additionally, the government of California finally allowed cyclists to use a section of interstate. Up until then, this area was virtually impassable, making a true Route 66 cycling tour extremely difficult.
So, now that you finally can take the trip, here are some must see places.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge – Madison, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri
If you’re starting your journey from the eastern end of route 66, then this is the first don’t miss stop. This bridge is famous because of its historical connection to Route 66, as well as its unusual design. The bridge was built in 1929 and was an integral part of the journey for people heading west. However, it was later closed and a second bridge was built, putting the Chain of The Rocks Bridge out of use. Luckily, it was later renovated and opened up to pedestrians and cyclists. You will get an amazing view of the Mississippi river from the center of the bridge.
Everyone who plans a trip down Route 66 learns about Texola, Oklahoma. It was a small community before the construction of Route 66. The construction of the road created lots of business for the town, and the population increased. There were diners, gas stations, and even a theater. However, when Route 66 was replaced by larger interstates, Texola started to wither and eventually turned into almost a ghost town. You can see some recent photos here. You can bike around the town and check out abandoned jails, theaters, and stores.
Once you reach Texas, make sure to stop and check out Amarillo. For those who like the kitsch associated with Route 66, there is Cadillac Ranch. This is the infamous area where old Cadillacs are buried upright in the ground. People have spray painted them over the years. You are freely allowed to add your own personal touch to the cars using markers or spray paint.
The next stop you have to make in Amarillo is the 6th street historic district. The streets are lined with beautiful buildings that were prominent during the heyday of Route 66. If you’re looking for wonderful storefronts to photograph, then this is the spot. There are some great bars and restaurants that are still operating that have a classic decor.
The area also has two museums. One showcases beautiful vintage automobiles from the golden era of Route 66. The other one is dedicated solely to vintage RVs, which were an important part of cross-country travel back in the day.
Contact a local travel service to learn more about cycling Route 66.