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Chicago to La

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Chicago to La

Postby Fast Eddie » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:14 pm

Alright, before anyone says it, I KNOW its a cliché, its corny, its pathetically unimaginative, etc. I know that, I get it, and I'm fine with it...

With what? Well, for longer than I care to remember I have had an itch to 'do' route 66.

Has anyone here done it?

I've hired from Eagle rider before, in El Paso and those guys were great. And I notice that they have a place in Chicago where I could pick up and in LA where I could drop off.

That's as far as I've got with the idea so far!

Comments and advice most welcome...
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Re: Chicago to La

Postby texasSlick » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:27 am

If you cross the desert in summer (Kingman AZ to Barstow CA), be advised temperatures can get in the 115 to 120 F (45-49 C) range, and often higher.

The Norton could take the heat .... I could not. I had to hole up in the shade during the heat of the afternoon near Needles CA, and continue to LA in the evening.

Bin Der, dun Dat

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The Second Law (of thermodynamics) rules.
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Re: Chicago to La

Postby grandpaul » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:56 am

However long you are planning on taking, you need to double it.
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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Danno » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:36 am

Old Route 66 runs past here within about 7 miles. I have seen many parts and sections of it between Chicago and Joplin, Mo. and it is no longer contiguous. Between here and Springfield, Illinois (where there is a neat Route 66 Museum), it sometimes parallels I-55 and sometimes follows Illinois State Route 4. Going north on 4 from this area, you will see signs at accessible sections denoting "Route 66 1924-1927" and "Route 66 1936-1940" etc. but it would be difficult to stay on the actual old highway. it is sectioned with some parts being frontage for Interstate 55 in Illinois and Interstate 44 in Missouri, some parts being current roads like IL 4 and other parts nonexistant. Good Luck!

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Re: Chicago to La

Postby brokeneagle » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:06 am

The Southern California Club trucked bikes to St. Louis in 2012 and followed 66 as best they could back to LA. Organized by the late Bill "Bib" Bibianni. I was not a part of this but knew some who were. Some probably are members of this forum. This is an article Bill wrote about the ride.

Thirty-five riders, well over 70,000 cumulative miles, 7 states, no accidents, no tickets, one Band-Aid from the medical kit and hundreds of great stories. You should have been there! Yes, we had a few breakdowns, mainly electrical stuff easily (?) corrected in the evening in nearly every case. And, we had 33 running bikes on our return to California! Indeed, of the 27 bikes we shipped to St. Louis, only one was in the chase truck – a Norton P-11 on its first real outing since being put back together last year. The “finishers” included: 19 Nortons (16 Commandos, 1 Dominator, 1 Atlas and a G-15 Matchless); 6 Triumphs including one 2003 Hinckley; 3 BSAs, (2 A65 models and a ’68 Rocket Three); 2 BMWs ( a ’51 and a ’61); a Vincent Rapide (?); a Hillman/Enfield/Norton “special”; and one Honda, a CB1100F. There were several other DNF bikes – 2 Commandos and 2 Triumphs - which were privately hauled to St. Louis. Essentially, all four of them were ‘museum floor, fresh”, brought along as spares. We were never able to get them running properly and, in effect, they were non-starters rather than non-finishers. Another Commando, perhaps the last pre-Superblend ’72 Combat, hadn’t been ridden in several years, had a history of seizures and went on a chase truck back to Colorado on Day 1. We averaged about 250 – 300 miles a day, mostly on old Route 66. Rain and hail just east of Albuquerque, where we spent a down day, and then rain again on our way to Gallop. Generally we had great weather everywhere else. Small towns and a local parade in Missouri, on hill country two-lanes; a several mile stretch of dirt road near Galena, Kansas where the gravel shoulders were smoother than the old highway; long stretches of abandoned 1930-1940 era four-lanes across Oklahoma including an eerily deserted 20 miles from Sayre to the Texas state line. Erick, OK, a town on hard times, had streets named after two local boys who “made good”, Sheb Woolley and Roger Miller! Wide open vistas the rest of the way, the Big Texan and Cadillac Ranch, Indian (?) curio shops, long abandoned motels and entrepreneurial dreams. Some riders took side trips to Clovis and Fort Sumner, NM to visit Billy the Kid’s gravesite and, later, to Sedona, AZ. We celebrated a ceremonial “last supper” in Kingman in the Andy Devine Room at the Danbar Steakhouse where we came up with the idea to “do Route 66” about a year and a half ago! Temperatures in the low 100s from Needles to Barstow, a last night in Victorville then Cajon Pass (or Angeles Crest) back to Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena. Too much traffic into Santa Monica, although several hard core souls went on to the pier to complete their own obligations to the ride. Photos and video? Check out Socal Norton on Facebook. And, please get into checking that regularly for ride updates, meetings, Café Sundays, etc. All in all, 2012 has been a spectacular year for the club. We had record turnouts for many of our rides including the New Year’s Eve Run for the Roses which was featured in Classic Bike (February) and, over 150 bikes in the Ojai Pilgrimage. Overall attendance exceeded 2000 participants and, including the Route 66 Ride, total routes exceeded 4000 miles! We even had our first two event weekend as Chris Hovland kept up our tradition in the Sierras leading 15 riders from Mariposa to Bridgeport and back via Yosemite on the same weekend as we started the Route 66 Ride. Well done lads! SPECIAL ROUTE 66 RIDE THANK YOU POSTSCRIPTS TO: Stacey Howlett, Marc Oldham, Colleen Barden and Steve Smith at Moto Europa/Hotel Ignacio in St. Louis – a great place to visit and a spectacularly successful starting point for our ride (and to my wife for finding it); to Mike Kiernan and his shop crew for hosting our kick-off breakfast (Janet found this one too); and, the Gateway Norton Club guys who escorted us out of the city; to Jamie Simpson and Mike Bacon for their yeoman work and patience on chase duty; to Nanci Teter, Susan McGrath and Jon George for keeping a roof over our heads at motels along the route; to Daniel Schoenwald for use of his truck/trailer rig, both ways including fuel!; to Richard Asprey and his Texas entourage including famed pin-striper, Alton (“still on the planet”) Gillespie for related chase truck and “taxi” services; to Gregg Till for supper (for 12!) in Albuquerque AND to all who participated in this adventure, thus enabling me to re-visit 40-50 year old memories of the Mother Road in the company of good friends. Thanks again, Bib

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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Fast Eddie » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:52 am

Well, 49 degree plus is a bit heavy for a lad originally from the North (ish) of England!

I realise the road is more of a notion than an actual road these days Danno, but I guess frequent map stops will relieve what might otherwise have been boredom!

Great article brokeneagle thanks for sharing!

And thanks to those who sent PMs with offers of coming to drink your beer, very much appreciated... especially being a lad originally from the North (ish) of England !!
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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Mark » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:03 pm

I have ridden the majority of Route 66.
Unfortunately, most of the road has been absorbed into the Interstate system.
The Very best part of it is in northern Arizona (Flagstaff to Kingman). It's still 2 lane and undeveloped.

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Re: Chicago to La

Postby worntorn » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:19 pm

Harvey and Marcus Bowden rode it on their A twins last fall. Harvey writes a great blog, here is the link to the start of the successful ride last fall.

http://hrd66.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-be ... tober.html

A couple of friends of mine went along on the first attempt in 2014, both on A twins, one real ( Robert Watson( and one made in 2012 in Danny Smith's basement workshop. Marcus was not on that ride. Harvey's bike set a world record for price when he bought it. It also set some kind of a world record for breakdowns when he tried to ride it on Route 66.
After a few hundred miles it was done. It came home in plastic totes.
Robert also had his problems.
Danny's bike, which he proudly refers to as his Aplus Vincent, had no problems.
Danny and Robert came home when Harvey's bike died. They hauled their own bikes as well as Harvey's A twin in totes.

Harvey decided to finish the trip in a rented Tahoe. Smart man, roll up the windows and crank up the AC!

The totes went to one of the best Vincent engine builders on the planet at that time( no longer with us) John Mcdougall. This was the last engine that John did before passing away. He really struggled to finish it.

As sick as he was, he did the usual perfect job on Harvey's engine. It does leak some oil, but this is the model known as the plumber's nightmare, so expect oil leaks even when all is well.
This was an engine that the previous owner,Brian
Verrall, had reconditioned to the "highest standard no expense spared" years ago by someone in the UK who is reputed to be a good engine builder. The bike had only done a bit of parading since that resto and was supposed to be in as new condition internally.
It was a mess.
John put it right and it did the trip without any serious problems last fall.


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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Fast Eddie » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:26 pm

worntorn wrote:Harvey and Marcus Bowden rode it on their A twins last fall. Harvey writes a great blog, here is the link to the start of the successful ride last fall.

http://hrd66.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-be ... tober.html

A couple of friends of mine went along on the first attempt in 2014, both on A twins, one real ( Robert Watson( and one made in 2012 in Danny Smith's basement workshop. Marcus was not on that ride. Harvey's bike set a world record for price when he bought it. It also set some kind of a world record for breakdowns when he tried to ride it on Route 66.
After a few hundred miles it was done. It came home in plastic totes.
Robert also had his problems.
Danny's bike, which he proudly refers to as his Aplus Vincent, had no problems.
Danny and Robert came home when Harvey's bike died. They hauled their own bikes as well as Harvey's A twin in totes.

Harvey decided to finish the trip in a rented Tahoe. Smart man, roll up the windows and crank up the AC!

The totes went to one of the best Vincent engine builders on the planet at that time( no longer with us) John Mcdougall. This was the last engine that John did before passing away. He really struggled to finish it.

As sick as he was, he did the usual perfect job on Harvey's engine. It does leak some oil, but this is the model known as the plumber's nightmare, so expect oil leaks even when all is well.
This was an engine that the previous owner,Brian
Verrall, had reconditioned to the "highest standard no expense spared" years ago by someone in the UK who is reputed to be a good engine builder. The bike had only done a bit of parading since that resto and was supposed to be in as new condition internally.
It was a mess.
John put it right and it did the trip without any serious problems last fall.


Glen


Thanks Glen.

Can't decide if those guys are brave, or crazy, or both. Irrespective, I gotta admire their grit!

Will read through the blog and absorb it...
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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Danno » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:02 am

Fast Eddie wrote:Well, 49 degree plus is a bit heavy for a lad originally from the North (ish) of England!

I realise the road is more of a notion than an actual road these days Danno, but I guess frequent map stops will relieve what might otherwise have been boredom!


Didn't mean to discourage you in any way, but as GPZ said, it takes twice as long as it would if the road were all there as it was in the day. The most interesting aspect (to me) is the ancient development that sprung up along the Mother Road and how some of it has survived to this day, while much has gone by the wayside.

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Re: Chicago to La

Postby Danno » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:19 am

Some interesting examples in this area:

Still a good place to eat
Image

Big bands gave way to rock comcerts until fire claimed the old ballroom.
Image

Couldn't find a pic with the neon on, but The Coral Court succumbed to the wrecking ball several years ago. There's a rebuilt section on display at the Museum of Transportation outside St. Louis.
Image

Image

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