Author Topic: Bicycle Route 66  (Read 6096 times)

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Offline Lingen

Bicycle Route 66
« on: November 07, 2015, 02:39:56 pm »
It is noted in the ride overview,  "Bicycle Route 66 travels west on bike paths, county roads and state, federal and interstate highways."

Most of the journals I've seen posted seem to go west.

Are there reasons that it shouldn't be ridden from West to East?

Thanks,
Linda


Offline JHamelman

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 09:27:55 am »
Linda,

I don't know that there are any hard and fast reasons why Bicycle Route 66 could not be ridden west to east. In part, it will depend on your timing. For example, you don't want to be in the desert stretches of California at the height of summer.

Best,
Jennifer
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Jennifer Hamelman

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline John Nelson

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 10:15:33 am »
I think Jenn's rationale is a compelling reason that you would want to choose one direction or the other. If you start in May, I'd probably go west to east. If you start in September, I'd probably go east to west. If you start in June or July, then you're just crazy.

But there are no hard and fast rules. You can cross the Mojave Desert in the middle of the summer if you tolerate heat well and carry gallons of water. I loved the Mojave, especially the area around Amboy. I started in Chicago this August and went east to west. East to West seems more natural, as Route 66 is better known as the route to California, not the route to Chicago.

Wind is highly variable (in most places, but in Wyoming, you can pretty much count on a westerly), so I would not use wind direction to pick my route direction, but I do believe (and my wind studies bore this out) that winds on Route 66 slightly favor a west to east direction. Again, I would use other factors to choose my direction. See the link below for the results of my wind studies on four ACA routes.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/pic/?pic_id=2473525

Route 66 is a great route. You'll love it!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 12:09:44 pm »
Most of the journals I've seen posted seem to go west.
Are there reasons that it shouldn't be ridden from West to East?

The historic significance of Route 66 is to get people from the dust bowl states in the Midwest to the land of opportunity and prosperity in California.  It was not established to get the rich gold miners of California to the banks in Chicago.  John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath is about a family traveling on Route 66 from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  It is always east to west, never the reverse.

Offline Lingen

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 06:58:03 pm »
Appreciate the info. 
Thanks.

Offline jamawani

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 08:27:49 am »
There was always two-directional traffic on Route 66.
Not all Okies when to live in California permanently - a significant portion were seasonal workers.
The song, "Route 66", references a growing tourist travel after WWII - again, both ways.
(Sorry, but there was no Route 66 in gold rush days - the Overland Trail, yes.)

And I dispute those who say wind doesn't make a difference.
The prevailing wind direction from the Colorado River to the Great Plains is from the southwest.
Windroses for Kingman and Gallup -

http://windhistory.com/station.html?KIGM
http://windhistory.com/station.html?KGUP

In the Great Plains the prevailing summer wind direction is southerly -
Westbound on R66 is actually southwest, eastbound is northeast.

Wind, of course, is highly variable - any one day or one week can vary.
But on average, a westbound rider will encounter significantly more headwind.

Probably the most important consideration is time of year.
The Mojave Desert can be brutally hot and is extremely remote.
A spring trip should probably be west-to-east - say April & May.
From June thru Sept., the Mojave is scorching.
So the best westbound time is Sept & Oct. - but days are shorter.

YMMV.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 09:44:20 am by jamawani »

Offline jamawani

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 11:34:51 am »
Crazyguyonabike is featuring John Meiners' "Route 66" journal this week.
Westbound - lots of headwinds west of Amarillo. Granted, it is just one journal.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=16036&v=Ae

Offline Lingen

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2015, 06:57:02 pm »
Thanks, appreciate that.  I've been reading it.  Each post, response or journal gives some info that helps put a plan together.

Offline jparaclete

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 09:20:30 am »
How early in the year can you start from Santa Monica and head east.


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Offline jamawani

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 09:53:31 am »
January 1 ??

Flagstaff, Arizona is probably the coldest and snowiest point on the route - nearly 7000 ft elevation.
Gallup, New Mexico is nearer the Continental Divide, but lower, a bit warmer, and not nearly as snowy.
(Also, it's 200 miles east of Flag, so if you choose a good time for Flag, you should be O.K.)

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3010

As you can see, Flag climate averages for May are Hi 68, Lo 34, snow 1.7".
Needles, 200 miles to the west has May averages of  Hi 94, Lo 67 and, of course, no snow.

So the geographical challenge is getting thru the Mojave Desert early enough,
but not too early for late spring snow and cold on the Colorado Plateau.

Also, late May is the peak for rain and thunderstorms in the Great Plains.
(As if there wasn't enough to deal with.)



Offline jparaclete

Re: Bicycle Route 66
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 05:52:36 pm »
January 1 ??

Flagstaff, Arizona is probably the coldest and snowiest point on the route - nearly 7000 ft elevation.
Gallup, New Mexico is nearer the Continental Divide, but lower, a bit warmer, and not nearly as snowy.
(Also, it's 200 miles east of Flag, so if you choose a good time for Flag, you should be O.K.)

http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3010

As you can see, Flag climate averages for May are Hi 68, Lo 34, snow 1.7".
Needles, 200 miles to the west has May averages of  Hi 94, Lo 67 and, of course, no snow.

So the geographical challenge is getting thru the Mojave Desert early enough,
but not too early for late spring snow and cold on the Colorado Plateau.

Also, late May is the peak for rain and thunderstorms in the Great Plains.
(As if there wasn't enough to deal with.)
I really appreciate your response. It gives me information to guide my start time.
Thanks


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