Get your kicks ... on Route 66

78-98 E Adams St Chicago

Skyline by Bike/Get your kicks ... on Route 66
Leentje De Leeuw
Written By Leentje De Leeuw

After reporter Leentje De Leeuw interviewed a man in Chicago who was originally from her Belgian hometown of Sint-Amands, the brief encounter lingered in both their minds. They decided to stay in touch and soon fell in love. Not only had Leentje fallen in love with the man, she was also smitten with the city. In September 2014, after many transatlantic flights, Leentje moved to the Windy City. In 2015 she decided to combine her passion for the city with her experience in travel and media, and thus launched her off the beaten path walks and biking tours. As soon as Leentje became a member of the Chicago Tour Guide Professionals Association, Chica-GO was born!

US 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System. It was established in 1926 and originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles or 3,940 km. The Mother Road served as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The road supported the economies of the communities through which it passed and people doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway. Those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System. Despite of many improvements and realignments over the years, US 66 was officially removed from the United States Highway System in 1985, after it had been replaced in its entirety by segments of the Interstate Highway System.

Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona have been communally designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", returning the name to some maps. Several states have adopted significant bypassed sections of the former US 66 into their state road networks as State Route 66. And last but not least: the corridor is also being redeveloped into U.S. Bicycle Route 66, a part of the United States Bicycle Route System that was developed in the 2010s.

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Get your kicks ... on Route 66

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