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