Two cycling events both follow Route 66. As the Oklahoma Freewheel comes to a close, the Big Bam Ride begins in Joplin.
After riding 425 miles across Oklahoma and Kansas, roughly five hundred cyclists will be departing on a five-day cycling tour along historic route 66 for the Big Bam ride. It’s the latest event by “Bicycle Across Missouri.” The 304 mile trek begins in Joplin and ends in Eureka, Missouri.
To kick off the ride festivities, a performance by Aina Cook and her band took place at Schifferdecker park Sunday evening, along with a ribbon cutting for the newly designated U.S. Bicycle route 66. Officials hope the designation will help keep cyclists safe. Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau director Pat Tuttle said, “We always want motorists to be more vigilant to watch out for us, to give us the three feet that’s required by law. But even as riders, we watch very carefully to make sure we don’t get in the way of motorists.” The designation should increase signage that cyclists are on the route.
Greg Wood with Missouri Life Magazine added, “We have people from thirty states here and I think as far away as Scotland and Canada. And they just enjoy what we’re doing right here.”
U.S. Bicycle route 66 covers 345 miles across Missouri and thirteen miles across the southeast corner of Kansas. The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) includes more than thirteen thousand miles of roadways.
The USBRS is a developing national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes. The new designations bring the total mileage of the system to 13,099. More than 40 states are working on designating and implementing official U.S. Bicycle Routes.
Digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes – including all new routes – are now available to the public for free, using the Ride with GPS online platform, from the Adventure Cycling website.
Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit that provides national coordination for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, partners with AASHTO to ensure states have the resources and expertise needed for successful route designation.