US Route 66, also known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road was one of the original highways within the US Highway System.
Route 66 was established in 1926. The highway became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago ILL, through MO, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ ending in Santa Monica CA.
It was recognized in popular culture by both the hit song, "Get your kicks on Route 66" and the "Route 66" TV series in the 1960s.
Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and officially removed from the US Highway System on June 27, 1985, after it was replaced by the Interstate Highway System.
Portions of the original Route 66 remain and been designated a "National Scenic Byway" or "Historic Route 66".
Recently, Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) released the Bicycle Route 66 map series following as much of the original route as practical for bicycle travel.
Through New Mexico, Route 66 is not one continuous roadway but is broken up into remnant sections interrupted in places by Interstate 40 freeway.
The plan of our group - Bob Anderson, Peter Saucerman and myself - was to do a drive/bike tour of New Mexico's Route 66 using Bob's pickup truck as our sag vehicle and cycle only the authentic sections of Route 66 and drive the freeway portions.
Quoting Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities, the tour turned out to be "The best of times and the worst of times." Everything was working as planned and the tour was fantastical until we got within 5 miles of Santa Fe when Bob got into a most unimaginable and freakish accident.
Long story, short - two cars collided head-on right near where Bob was riding and flying debri hit Bob's front wheel causing him to go somersaulting over the handle-bars. He suffered major but not life-threatening injuries and after treatment at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Santa Fe, life-flighted back to a rehab facility near Santa Rosa where he is recuperating.
This put a real damper on the tour and Peter and I aborted the cycling portion of the tour in Santa Fe. Making the best of a bad situation, we continued some sight-seeing in Taos and on the long drive back to Sacramento visited Ship Rock, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Las Vegas and the Eastern Sierra.
To view the tour album, click on "US Route 66 Bike Tour" below the photo:
|From US Route 66 Bike Tour|