If you’re looking for an exciting adventure, why not bike Route 66? Route 66 is a historic American highway that is perfect for a long bike ride. In this post, Cycle of Life Adventures presents five of our favorite facts about Route 66 that make it the perfect cycling adventure.
Before the Eisenhower Interstate system was completed, the fastest route from Chicago to Los Angeles was Route 66. This famous road went through many revisions and today is only partially usable. There are portions in Arizona and New Mexico that were never paved! The road travels over 2,400 miles through eight states.
Route 66 connected small towns across America. The road was lined with mom-and-pop diners, gas stations, quirky art, and the like. If you bike Route 66 today, you’ll find nostalgic culture that is an important part of the traveling experience.
Route 66 hit a new level of fame with the song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” by up-and-coming songwriter, Bobby Troupe. Bobby was traveling from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to seek his fortune. Along the way, his wife suggested he write a song about highways. She was the one who thought of the rhyme in the title. He wrote the lyrics to the song as they drove, and when they reached LA, he performed the song for Nat King Cole. The song became an instant hit. The song has been performed and remixed by many artists including Nat King Cole and the Rolling Stones.
Route 66 was immortalized by John Steinbeck in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck described his Depression-era characters traveling along Route 66 to California to seek a better life. He was the first to call Route 66 “The Mother Road.”
In 1927, the Phillips Petroleum Company was test driving high-octane fuel on Route 66. After the car reached 66 miles per hour, the company decided to name the gas company Phillips 66. The company logo was even inspired by the Route 66 highway sign.