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I plan on shipping my bike to Chicago and riding the route 66 back to Santa Monica,CA. I want to ride on as much of the original route 66 which I understand are sections of dirt roads, and or are missing now. Anyone did this ride before that can give me tips on the best time of the year to do this? Things I should not miss? I will be going solo so any input is appreciated I plan on taking my time and have 2 weeks to do this, Thanks!

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On your way west from Flagstaff, be sure to jump off I-40 on to 66 at Seligman, AZ. The whole town is retro-66. The Road Kill Cafe has great chow. :thumbsup:

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historic66.com is a wealth of knowledge.

I did the entire route in 04' and I am doing it again in Sept 09'. There are old alignments that are dirt, dead end or gone but that's part of the adventure.


EZ66 Guide is one of the best books available, and the historic website has state by state maps available as well as turn by turn directions ready to download and print. There is a GPS section too, but 4 of the states have too many via points, so the Zumo will not accept them.


Take your time, see the sights, and talk to the people...You will have a blast!

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The best single resource that you will want to take along is the Route 66 EZ Guide. In fact, now that I see there's a Second Edition out, I'm gonna order one.


Best time of year? You will be crossing more hot country than cold. Oklahoma, Texas, the Mojave Desert in California can be pretty brutal in the middle of the summer. (The New Mexico and Arizona parts are mostly higher elevations and aren't as brutal).


Get the EZ Guide, look at some of the sections that have multiple alignments. You can be a Route 66 nerd and try to ride every piece of existing road, and spend weeks riding back and forth on little half-mile sections of pavement.


My list of things to see/places to stop so you can say you've done Route 66, from Chicago:


Funk's Grove near McLean

Cozy Dog in Springfield

Our Lady of the Highway @ I-55 Exit 63 (if you're not taking the alternate alignment)

Soulsby Station in Mt. Olive

Chain of Rocks Bridge - visit it from the Illinois end - peope have had problems at the Missouri end

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard on Chippewa in St. Louis (try the Terra Mizzou concrete)

The Devil's Elbow section

detour to Sleeper - it's a fun little road

Old 66 from Lebanon to Springfield is also a nice riding road

From Joplin, catch the bit of 66 that runs through the corner of Kansas.

Rainbow Bridge - one of about 3 remaining original bridges

Baxter Springs

Blue Whale at Catoosa OK

Rock Cafe @ Stroud

East of Arcadia there's a nicely preserved section of the old 66 pavement

the round barn @ Arcadia

the Pony Bridge west of El Reno

the Art Deco gas station in Shamrock TX

near Amarillo - Cadillac Ranch, Palo Duro Canyon

Midpoint Cafe, Adrian TX

at least ride down the main street in Tucumcari

You have two choices of alignments in NM - the one that goes through Santa Fe and the one that doesn't. Take the one that does. Santa Fe is worth seeing.

El Rancho Hotel in Gallup

Painted Desert/Petrified Forest in AZ

Jack Rabbit Trading Post

Ride through Winslow just so you can say you've been there.

Don't forget Winona. Get off the highway, get back on, you did Winona.

Williams AZ feels like a time capsule of the 1950s

Run up to the Grand Canyon if you're inclined.

Take the old road from Seligman through Peach Springs

Take the old road from Kingman over Sitgraves Pass to Oatman. This is a must. See Cool Springs just outside Kingman. Note - this road is tricky and technical.

In CA - I've never been west of Needles but I would want to see Amboy in the Mojave and just generally follow the old road.

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As Route 66 approaches Oklahoma City from the East, there is a place called Pop's that you should not miss.

It's located 5 miles East of I-35, right on Route 66, just Northwest of the City.


Just keep a look out for a 66 foot tall Pop Bottle right along side the road, and you're there. :wave:


They have great breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and they have about 400 different flavors of 'Pop' to choose from.

Nice clean facilities, great bike parking, and gasoline.


Enjoy it!



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I'm planning to do part of the route this summer as well. I'm a solo rider but would be happy to ride with you for part of the way depending on dates.


This will be my first trip of over a couple of hundred miles so I'm looking for not only a guide to Rt 66 but also a guide to prepping for a ride (e.g. what to bring). Any tips there?

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We enjoyed Needles (cheap hotels and good breakfast) and Amboy (No services, one CHP, and a group of Nomads... we left quickly).






Needles (great breakfast here):




Have fun!


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