Route 66, the road running from Chicago to Los Angeles immortalised in song and which now stands as a monument to mid-20th century America, has been mapped out for cyclists.
The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) has spent four years compiling a series of six maps covering all eight of the states that the road passes through on its nearly 2,500 mile journey from the Midwest to the Pacific.
Drawn up with the help of tourist boards as well as local cyclist groups, the maps contain information that should prove invaluable to riders attempting all or part of the route, reports the Joplin Globe – the newspaper based in the Missouri town mentioned in the song, (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66.
That includes pinpointing where bike shops, food stores and libraries with internet access can be found, as well as stretches of road that may be particularly hazardous and areas prone to storms or flooding.
The ACA’s director of travel initiatives, Ginny Sullivan, said that mapping the route would enable cyclists to "explore the American heartland's natural beauty, history and funky out-of-the-way places.”
The organisation’s mapping director, Carla Majernik, added: “It's a legendary corridor, and for our route network, a critical link through states where there were no established Adventure Cycling routes, such as Oklahoma."
The maps cost $15.75 each or $88.50 for the set of six, and can be ordered through the ACA’s website.
Scott Nelson of the 90-year-old Eisler Brothers deli and food store in Riverton, Kansas, gave a warm reception to the maps, saying: “Anybody travelling through is always good.”
Riverton isn’t referenced in (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66, written by Bobby Troup in 1946 and first performed by Nat King Cole the same year. It has subsequently been covered by artists including Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones.
The A13 which runs from London to Southend-on-Sea in Essex inspired a very British reworking of the song by Billy Bragg, including the memorable lines, “It starts down in Wapping, There ain't no stopping, By-pass Barking and straight through Dagenham …”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.