Get your kicks on Route 66: road trips that are even better by bike

The most celebrated route in the US is now on the map for cyclists. What other scenic rides can be enjoyed on two wheels?

Route 66 may have long been decommissioned – officially ceasing to exist in 1985 – but thanks to its enduring legacy in pop culture and the imagination of travellers the world over, this historic route from Chicago to Santa Monica remains high on the list of must-do road trips. It might be synonymous with the motor vehicle, but now, if you want to get your kicks on Route 66, you can do so by bike. Last month, the first section of United States Bicycle Route 66, running from St Louis, Missouri, to the bottom of Kansas was opened as part of an ambitious set of plans by the Adventure Cycling Association to develop a country-wide network of trails called the United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS).

Once complete, USBR66 will follow much of the original highway’s 2,448-mile trajectory, offering ample opportunity to lap up classic Americana in the towns along the way. “Riding this route really gives a glimpse into the soul of the American heartland,” said Brent Hugh, the executive director of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. But it is not the only magnificent road trip route that can be enjoyed by pedal power – here are some adventurous suggestions for those whose other car is a bike.

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