A side trip to Williams, Arizona, during the 1980s inspired a British man to form a United Kingdom Route 66 Association after he finishes participating in this May’s annual Historic Route 66 Fun Run.
Peter Campbell-McBride, CEO of Medinform Publishing, told the Kingman Daily Miner in Kingman, Arizona, what inspired him to form the group:
While researching the Fun Run, McBride realized there were thousands of people from around the world who were as interested as he was in the road made famous by John Steinbeck’s classic “Grapes of Wrath.”
He read about existing Route 66 clubs from Australia, Holland and Czech Republic, but none from the United Kingdom.
That made no sense to McBride. His country has a chain of drive-in cinemas named after Route 66, and last year there was the Route 66 car and bike show in the south of England. And the best recording of “Get Your Kicks” outside of the United States is by his country’s own Rolling Stones, in McBride’s partiality.
“There are many car and bike enthusiasts in my country who would love to experience visiting the most iconic road in America, but there is no focus group to help make that dream come true. I aim to fix that,” he said.
This year’s Fun Run goes from April 29 to May 1.
Campbell-McBride said he’ll probably get the United Kingdom Route 66 Association going through social media, then go from there.
It’s a little surprising a Route 66 association in England hasn’t been formed already. The Mother Road, which held interest for Britons for all the reasons Campbell-McBride listed above, became a lot more appealing after a successful UK television series in 2011 hosted by Billy Connolly.
(Image of the United Kingdom flag by Rob Howard via Flickr)