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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Riders needed for Route 66 Trail-Breaking

The League of Illinois Bicyclists is looking for riders -- especially in downstate Illinois -- for the Route 66 Trail-Breaking ride on Saturday, June 2.

Bicyclists and other "trail-breakers" will traverse the entire 369 miles of Illinois' new Route 66 Trail, a route of quieter roads and trails showing off the best of the old "Mother Road." The event will highlight bike tourism on the Route 66 Trail while giving a boost for road and trail improvements along the way.

Bicyclists will each ride one of 14 legs of the Route 66 Trail, simultaneously covering the entire distance of the route. They will converge at six different Route 66 towns, where ceremonies will be held at noon. Cyclists choose from one of these 14 segments, covering the main route and western alternate route. You can ride a whole segment or start anywhere along the way.

In a recent e-mail, LIB Executive Director Ed Barsotti told me that there's been great response to the ride in the Chicago area, but that riders are needed for the segments of the ride leading to ceremonies in Edwardsville and Staunton.

The Edwardsville segments are 15 miles from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and 40 miles from Litchfield. The Staunton segments are 17 miles from Litchfield, 26 miles from Carlinville and 40 miles from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.

The Staunton ceremony will have added significance because it includes the dedication of the Leroy Duda Garden, the southern trailhead of the ITS (Illinois Traction System) Trail. The ITS Trail eventually will link Staunton and Benld, and the long-term goal is for it to be part of a trail system that will link St. Louis and Springfield.

Other Route 66 communities where ceremonies will be held are Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington and Springfield.

The ride is free, but you have to register with LIB. To register or to get more information about the ride, visit http://www.lepirtle.com/lib/route66/rt66form1.cfm.

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Roger 2 comments links to this post 1:15 AM

Roger--you know I'm signed up!
I'm signed up for the leg from the Chain of Rocks Bridge to Staunton. If I get the day off, I'll do the whole thing. If not, I'll ride from Edwardsville or Hamel to Staunton.
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