Have you been wondering one day about the mythical Route 66? Why is Route 66 dangerous? How did Route 66 start? Why was Route 66 closed? Who invented Route 66? Is driving in Route 66 with a Harley Davidson worth it? Why is Route 66 special?
Nicknamed "The Mother Road", "The Will Rogers Highway'' or "The Main Street of America". Route 66 was for decades the main road to the Pacific. It passes through eight states and three time zones over a distance of nearly 3940 km.
Welcome to Skull Action, the place where enthusiasts like you do their best to bring you quality content. Today we're going to quickly answer your most important questions about the famous Route 66. We'll cover the following points
- The events behind the story of the Route 66
- The Route 66 and the World War II
- The transformation of Route 66
A mythical road
More than a means of transportation linking Chicago and Los Angeles cities, it crystallizes the American myth of happiness beyond the horizon. Route 66 on a Harley is a reference for all bikers and fans of beautiful bikes!
Map of Route 66: city by city, including points of interest, to be ridden by harley.
The first paved road to cross the continent, opening the way to the great North American West; This road was officially named US Route 66 and revolutionized road transportation in the United States when it was inaugurated in 1926.
Successively, it was an immigration old route during the economic depression of the 1930s. Then it became a logistical route for military transport during the Second World War. Route 66 became the symbol of the American road trip, at the height of its glory during the years 1950-1970. Since 1985, Route 66 has been replaced by highways for faster road transportation.
The portion that survived its decommissioning represents 80% of the original road and has been renamed "Historic Route 66". Today, it is an actual open-air museum, 3665 km long.
It is dotted with restaurants, shops, motels, gas stations, and movie theaters. Numerous abandoned or in-service open air. They welcome visitors and travelers who have come to relive the legend of the most famous road "Made in the USA" for a moment. 🇺🇸
Route 66: a rich and eventful history
With the democratization of the automobile in the 1920s in the United States, the need to build more roads became apparent. This is to guarantee the urban centers a daily supply (agricultural products) and connect the cities to the countryside.
Despite the existence of a road legislation since 1916. Congress did not ratify the plan for the construction of a national road until 1925. Under the impulse of Cyrus Avery member of the committee appointed to create the federal system for the rationalization of roads.
Also president of the association in charge of promoting tourism and trade along the American roads. The "Associated Highway Associations of America", is considered the "father" of Route 66.
On November 11, 1926, it connected the road portions of 8 states from east to west, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Route 66 stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois, to the shores of the Pacific in Santa Monica, California. Initially, only the Illinois section was fully paved.
In 1927 the
Creation of the "US Highway 66 Association" under Avery's leadership; intending to use the road to promote and enhance businesses, the association demanded a complete pavement on the entire route.
In May 1928
Organization of the first transcontinental footrace between Los Angeles and New York, the "Bunion Derby", on Route 66 between Los Angeles and Chicago, with the presence of the famous actor Will Rogers, to congratulate the runners.
Traffic increased gradually, with a peak during the depression of the 1930s. Route 66 was then both a witness and an actor in the largest internal migration in American history. Thousands of farm families fled the drought in the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas to seek work on California farms.
In memory of this challenging period, the novel won the Pulitzer Prize to the American writer John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath.” This book tells the story of a low-income family forced to leave Oklahoma on Route 66.
This economic crisis allows completing in 1938, paving the road with cheap labor, with the "New Deal" policy initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
During World War II
Route 66 became a significant asset to the American war effort, serving as a logistical axis for transporting troops and equipment between military bases and training camps.
In post-war America, it was synonymous with freedom for vacationers, as they headed for the beaches of California.
Massive development of the tourism industry with the appearance of thousands of small businesses, motels, restaurants, museums, and other attractions, thanks to the continuous influx of travelers.
The Transformation of Route 66
The presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower marked a turning point for Route 66. Convinced that a roadway network based on the German model was necessary to organize the defense of the territory, he ratified the "Interstate Highway Agreement". He ratified the "Interstate Highway Act" in 1956.
Construction of the first "Interstates" begins. Route 66 gradually lost its functionality over the years and was decommissioned in June 1985.
To preserve the businesses, which live thanks to the travelers, the state launches initiatives, since the 1990s for the safeguard and the historical heritage of Route 66.
The "National Historic Route 66 Federation" was created in 1995. It institutes the "Cyrus Avery Award," which rewards individuals and organizations contributing to preservation projects.
She is recognized as an integral part of the American historical heritage. Route 66 becomes part of the National Museum of American History and opens a section within it.
The federal government commits to the National Route 66 Preservation Bill, allocating a budget of 10 million dollars; This is for the restoration and preservation of the historic buildings and sites along the route.
Visitors from the world ride the way on a Harley, following the signs indicating its new name: "Historic Route 66".
Example of a point of interest on Route 66, where you can service your Harley
Rent a Harley on Route 66
Synonymous with the American dream, Harley Davidsons are inseparable from Route 66. With its retro feel, the century-old motorcycle brand offers its enthusiasts not only big bikes but also an American lifestyle with the Harley motorcycle jacket, particular dress codes, and specific accessories.
Renting a Harley on Route 66 is possible for bikers who are at least 21 years old and hold a valid motorcycle license.
Many "Harley-Davidson Authorized Rentals" offer recent models that are constantly renewed and meet the company's standards.
Some companies offer organized tours and excursions of a few days to two weeks to ride Route 66 on a Harley. The program includes stops at famous sites such as the Chain of Rocks near St. Louis or the Grand Canyon in Arizona. These tours can be in groups of bikers or individually. They are guided or unguided, with or without hotel reservations.
Rental rates vary between 150 and 170 dollars per day, depending on the model. This type of service generally includes unlimited mileage, a helmet that meets the standards, and a waterproof suit.
Are you ready to ride Route 66?
Together we have discovered the myth and legend behind the famous Route66. You will now be able to draw up an infallible chronology of the history of this unique road. Don't wait any longer to bring up the subject in discussion with your friends, and you are the expert.
We hope you enjoyed the article. You will also plan to take a drive or, better yet, rent a Harley or ride your own on this mythical road.