Route 66 for Bikes Is Becoming a Reality - Starting in Missouri and Kansas | CityLab

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Decades after the interstate highway system wiped it off the map, Route 66 still conjures up images of the golden age of the automobile, when travelers cruised through the majestic landscapes and quaint towns of the American West on a ribbon of blacktop.

Those days are long gone. But the “mother road,” which stretched from Chicago to Santa Monica, has found a new life—as a bike route. The first section of United States Bicycle Route 66, a route that would roughly follow the 2,400-mile course of the original highway, was inaugurated in Missouri and Kansas last month, and it’s already hosting a steady stream of two-wheeled adventurers.
Cyclists ride across a bridge in Spencer, Missouri, on U.S. Bicycle Route 66. (VisitJoplinMO)

The United States Bicycle Route System, or USBRS, is a national network of bike routes running along roads and trails across the country. So far, more than 13,000 miles have been designated as part of the network; the ultimate target is 50,000.

This first portion of USBR 66 begins in St. Louis and winds across Missouri, passing the cities of Rolla, Springfield, and Joplin before cutting through the southeastern corner of Kansas, closely following historic Route 66. Cyclists travel mostly on rural two-lane highways, and much of the route parallels Interstate 44, which replaced Route 66.

MoBikeFed comment: More about Bicycle Route 66 in Missouri and the recent USBR 66 ribbon-cutting here:

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