Mapping Out The Ride
I’m less than six months away from doing this thing. Guess I should figure out where the hell I’m going, huh?
I sat down this afternoon and started mapping stuff out. I’m “starting” in Hawaii, then will fly back to Los Angeles to work my way across the continent.
From Oklahoma to the end, it’s actually pretty easy. I’ll stick to US highways for the duration. Plenty of places to stay, eat, get help if needed. I plan on heading south out of OK so I can grab Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.
But leaving California is proving to be problematic. Mainly because I want to make it to the Grand Canyon. I’ve (now) been in all 50 states, have seen my share of natural and man-made wonders, but for some odd reason, I’ve never made it to the Grand Canyon.
Additionally, I want to go through Albuquerque and get my “Breaking Bad” fix. I need to pedal by Walt’s House and not deliver a pizza in any way.
Getting from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon is no problem if you’re in a car. Going by bicycle, though . . . takes a lot of planning. Mainly because of a stretch after Barstow where there is nothing but desert for a long-damn way. Secondary roads that one would want to ride on are thankfully without traffic. And because they’re without traffic, they’re also without any kind of food, water, cell signals, assistance, etc.
If only a bicycle could maybe go where the traffic is. Like, say, if a bicyclist could be allowed to ride on, say, Interstate 40 . . .
The California Department of Transportation granted the Adventure Cycling Association‘s request to allow parts of Interstate 40 to be used as part of its upcoming Bicycle Route 66 Map, according a blog post Thursday from the association.
But that’s not all. I’m not completely done checking the entire route yet, but it looks like one can bicycle on Interstate 40 all the way from Los Angeles to Oklahoma.
The “Adventure Cycling Association” was key in lobbying California to approve bicyclists riding on Interstate 40 in California. Mainly because the old route 66 was far too rough through the Mojave Desert for bicycles. The ACA then created a new bicycle route that traces Route 66 running from Chicago to LA. 66 marries up with Interstate 40 in Oklahoma then heads west to the left coast. That works perfectly for me — except I’ll be going the other direction. Perfect.
It looks like I’ll take Interstate 40 out of LA, ride it nearly to Flagstaff, then head north on AZ 64 / US 180 to get to the Canyon. Ride back down to pick up 40 again, and stay on it until mid-Oklahoma.
About the other only thing I’m going to have to do is head up AZ 95 once I reach Needles. I’ll cross over the Colorado River first chance I get so I can get 20 miles in Nevada. I purposely passed up Nevada on the trip out west in February because I figured I’d be riding from LA to Las Vegas. With I-40 now on the table, I won’t be going to Vegas. Hell, I’d probably lose the bicycle at the blackjack tables, anyway.