Route 66 News

From Oklahoma to Santa Monica by bicycle

The Daily Oklahoman has a story about Greg Merkel, a recent high-school graduate who lives in Edmond, Okla., who decided to bicycle on Route 66 westward to Santa Monica.

Luckily, he met a German in Clinton, Okla., who also was cycling the route. Together, they made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

“The hardest day was going up to Santa Fe which was uphill,” Merkel said. “I don’t know how high the winds were, but we had to pedal going downhill.” […]

Merkel returned home on a train after riding his bike 1,795 miles.

He said he would like to attempt a cross-country journey again.

“I think it’s the best way to travel. You’re exercising constantly; you’re seeing different places, and you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight,” he said.

Merkel’s story got me thinking — I hope that someone eventually publishes a guidebook on cycling Route 66. It’s obvious there’s a small but growing market for it, and Route 66 imposes enough of its own challenges (unavoidable interstate, rough-surfaced alignments, nasty hills, nearly deserted stretches) that a well-researched guidebook could save a lot of headaches for cyclists.