A Great American Motorcycle Ride

Route 66 lets you discover the soul of America. At times you’ll use alternate routes because some of Route 66 is now abandoned, but you can still explore major parts of the original route. You’ll need a large bike suited for long-distance comfort that can carry enough gear. On your 4,500 kilometer ride, get a glimpse of America from the Great Depression until the 1960s. Unique sights include old gas stations, flashy neon signs advertising restaurants and motels, and businesses with humorous themes to attract attention. In two weeks, you’ll cover two-thirds of the country, explore famous big cities and small off-the-beaten-path towns, and see kitschy attractions.

Explore Chicago first, then one of your first sights in Illinois is the Gemini Giant, a 30-foot spaceman statue, and stop to eat at the Old Log Cabin restaurant, open since 1926. Spend time sight-seeing in St. Louis, then have a classic Route 66 day, traveling through small towns like Devil’s Elbow. From Oklahoma City to Tulsa, you’ll ride the longest uninterrupted portion of the original road. One Oklahoma must-see is the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum. This free museum showcases more than 25 vintage bikes, including a 1919 Australian GCS, the only one of its kind left in existence. The museum has the world’s largest Steve McQueen collections, including his famous racing Husqvarna.

In Elk City, visit the Route 66 historic museum, where you can see pictures and memorabilia of the route’s history. Detour for a fantastic mountain ride to the historic town of Durango, Colorado, stopping to ride the Durango-Silverton steam train to Silverton, a historic mining town. Next travel to Mesa Verde National Park to see the Cliff Dwellings, ancient Indian homes built into the cliff, then visit the Grand Canyon, one of the most famous natural wonders in the world.

Next is another day of Route 66 nostalgia, stopping at the original Old Route 66 visitor’s centre, ending in the famous city of Las Vegas. Spend some time exploring Vegas, then travel through Death Valley. You’re riding through the desert, so drink a lot of water. A short ride on the interstate takes you through the San Gabriel Mountains, which is 112 km of challenging curves. Your journey ends in Santa Monica, where you can relax on the beach.

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