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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Edwardsville leg of Route 66 Trail-Breaking

Edwardsville is one of the communities holding ceremonies for the League of Illinois Bicyclists' Route 66-Trail Breaking on Saturday, June 2. LIB has maps available for a 15-mile trip from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge to Edwardsville or a 40-mile trip from Litchfield to Edwardsville. Cyclists can do all or a part of the ceremony. Below is the full text of the press release recently issued by the organizers of the Edwardsville ceremony:

Edwardsville will be a gathering point for bicyclists trail blazing sections of Illinois’ Mother Road, the historic Route 66, on Saturday, June 2.

A rest stop will be available in the Edwardsville City Park and will be staffed from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. to provide water and information to riders coming through town.

Edwardsville will be one of six locations along the route from Chicago to the Missouri border celebrating Route 66 as welcoming to bicyclists, who can ride the distance they choose on trailblazing day.

“This will be a major event for bicyclists and all Route 66 fans,” said Stephanie Robbins, event coordinator. “Route 66 allowed thousands of travelers to stop and sample our community’s local history and special flavor, but the Interstate Highway System changed that. This trailblazing event will allow us to refocus attention on our community on June 2 and attract future travelers on bikes and in cars.”

Ed Barsotti, executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, said, “Bicycling Route 66 gives riders the chance to recapture a bit of the past in an enjoyable, healthy way while imagining what the route was like during its heyday. Our hope is that thousands of bicyclists and others will follow, traveling Route 66 for exhilarating and nostalgic rides.”

"The trail breaking ride is a chance to sample what we believe will be a great recreational and educational experience for bicyclists at all levels from local recreational riders to cross-country tourists," said Donovan Gardner, chair of the Route 66 Trail Executive Committee.

Bicyclists will travel one of 13 sections of the Route 66 Trail all on June 2, covering the entire distance from downtown Chicago, the route’s starting point, to the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. Bicyclists can ride a whole segment or a part of a segment, starting anywhere along the route. Participants can select their own starting times to arrive in the towns at noon. The charted individual segments range from 15-50 miles.

The other towns participating in the trailblazing event with their own festivities are Joliet, Pontiac, Bloomington, Springfield, and Staunton.

For more information on the event, the 13 routes with cue sheets and free registration, go to www.bikelib.org/route66.

Sponsors of the trailblazing event are the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the League of Illinois Bicyclists and the Route 66 Trail Executive Committee.

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Roger 1 comments links to this post 12:29 PM

As I noted, I have signed up--originally for the Chi-Joliet...I'm rethinking that (too much City riding) & so I may do the Lincoln to Spfld leg instead...hope my brother in Splfd will want to join me. Enjoy your leg.
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