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Discussion Starter · #101 · (Edited)
Day 1 - We meet

Really fretted about picking up the bike this morning in Chicago from the people storing it for me, just knew they would let it fall over. Brought my touch-up paint just in case. The bike was in perfect condition, whew! Shout out to the people at Rolando’s Car Care in Elk Grove Village. Thought I would stop by the local Indian Dealer, another one of the motorsports places that sell a lot of other things. Was really interested in getting a t-shirt from there as the name of the dealership is "Route 66 Indian Motorcycle". Perfect, couldn't pass that up. Was told by quite the surly person behind the desk who never looked up or stopped typing on his computer they were all out that said Route 66 except for some ladies tees. Ok, got one for Sandy, which she really likes. Would have checked out what else they had but so turned me off that paid and left.
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Sky Building

The group met for the first time this afternoon. A British couple (he is a retired police officer) that will be renting a Harley CVO. Couple from South Carolina (retired engineer, much like myself), they shipped in their Harley Tri-Glide and an older couple (he taught music) who are renting a convertible Mustang GT. The owner of RideFree, Wil Sakowski, is our guide. We drove out to Chicago Harley to pick up their bikes and was surprised to only see a few bikes on the floor. Turns out, this place only rents bikes and sells a ton of Harley apparel.

We all enjoyed dinner and the group seems to be meshing well. We will not be going into Chicago to the actual start of Route 66. Wil said it is very difficult to get around and would end up doing damage to our bikes. That was fine with all of us. Going to be cold at the start tomorrow at 13 C ( 55 F ). Weather is forecasted to get warmer as we head South and no appreciable rain. Tour is staring out great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #102 ·
Day 2 - Naa, we won't need the rain gear...

Got out of Chicago, which we all appreciated and after about an hour, got to seeing Historic Route 66 signs and all the towns along the way saying, "Get your kicks at <town name here>". Weather was high 50's but clear. Started making stops at scenes you see other people stop at. Was a bit longer day for travel and rain starting in the afternoon did not help. Mixed with the low temperatures, did not make for happy bikers, or should I say, Mrs. Happy Biker who, bless her heart while not saying it, the eyes said it all, "The weather will be fine you said, we don't need to bring the rain suits, you said!" Stopped at Walmart, picked up a coat, vest and some thermal underwear which made it tolerable but still squishy socks when we finally got to Springfield.

To be honest, we chalk this up to learning and developing experience points (just like this whole TRiO experience) as this is our first long ride of any amount, namely we're taking it in stride and making notes so as to do better next time. So far, the weather looks fine for the rest of the trip. Will be 58 and sunny leaving Springfield tomorrow morning, quickly warming up hitting 85 by the time we get to St. Louis. Smiles should be back in bloom by then.

Got a chuckle out of the 'Route' Beer for sale.
Bottle Liquid Glass bottle Alcoholic beverage Drink

Our group, who met for the first time yesterday, getting along great. Wil, the owner and guide, is taking the picture. Having a small group like this is really nice!
Furniture Table Chair Building Interior design

Famous stop to get a picture of your ride. Note the stylish new Walmart coat my Sandy is wearing. We did bring jackets but are the Air Rider Mesh Armored Shirt, which is what I'm wearing. Have to tell you, when they say the shirts are designed for hot weather riding, they mean it as you can feel the cold air going right through the jacket. Will be great to use when we get to hotter days but forget it for keeping you warm.
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Discussion Starter · #103 · (Edited)
Day 3 - Here comes the sun.

Wow, what a difference a day makes. Got in to Springfield 58 deg and soaked. The next morning, bright sunshine and 75 deg. There was a car show going on that took over most of downton Springfield with about 600 cars.
Building Car Vehicle Wheel Tire

Out onto the open road and finally feeling like we're on Route 66 with perfect weather. Stopped for this shot on the 'Red Brick Road'.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Sky Plant

Came across a few EagleRider (Harley) tour groups. 20 people and very regimented stops. What's funny, many from Eagle rider group came over to check out what this crazy Indian with two front wheels, some saying, "Always heard about this, never seen one". In a sea of endless black motorcycles, ours does stand out.
Sky Building Motor vehicle Road surface Asphalt

Now check out the size of the tour we're on. Very thankful we went with RideFree.
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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
Day 4 - We brake for flea markets and doughnuts

Well, unfortunately we did not stop for the doughnuts BUT the group voted next time we would revolt and when our guide realizes there is no one behind him, he'll come back. Wonderful start to the day leaving St. Louis, sunshine and 75 deg for the morning. Found some really slow twisting roads that you can just loose yourself in. Stopped for lunch at a very popular BBQ place and even though busy, our waitress was very attentive and the food excellent!
Sky Wheel Plant Tire Car

Down the road, set up the bikes and the mustang for a nice group shot. Had some people come by and wanted to get a picture with us.
Wheel Tire Sky Land vehicle Vehicle

Being Sunday, there was a flea market going on and we stopped and browsed. Turned out fortunate we did, we brought along a couple of snooze fans and the power socket broke on one of them. Was able to pick up a long, narrow cross-head screwdriver for 50 cents and make a temporary fix.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Sky Car

We are staying at a real Route 66 motel (overstuffed chairs, widowed woman running the place, park in front of your room) in Lebanon, Missouri. This was the type of accommodations we were expecting and have no problem with it.
Electricity Gas Electronic signage Font Midnight

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Day 5 - Radio in every room

Easy paced day today so had a real breakfast and then visit to a classic car museum that included the TV Batmobile and the Cadillac from Ghostbusters.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire

Onward to an original Sinclair filling station that had all kinds of memorabilia and the owners quite the characters.
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Sky
Sky Plant Window Tree Road surface

Wheel Land vehicle Car Plant Tire

Stopping in Carthage, Missouri for the night staying at Boots Court. They are in the process of restoring this hotel to its glory in the 30's. Check out the sign that says radio in every room. That is true, no TV.
Sky Motor vehicle Car Road surface Street light

Cabinetry Table Wood Interior design Drawer
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
Day 6 - The bridges of Route 66

Started off in the 60's leaving Carthage and was 98 deg when we got to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Many Drive-In's along Route 66, most just relics, this one in operation Thu-Sat. Showing one of my favorite films, Wizard of Oz. Probably would not be the same watching from a motorcycle....
Sky Cloud Tire Wheel Vehicle

Bridges a plenty, some in working condition, others not carrying traffic anymore. This is a Marsh Arch bridge, whatever that is, but it rhymes.
Sky Plant Road surface Tree Asphalt

Stopped at this firearms museum with a collection of over 11,000 guns. So much to see, and like most tours, never enough time to see it all.
Wheel Tire Sky Automotive tire Automotive lighting

Into Tulsa for the night, once again at a Route 66 motel.
Automotive lighting Sky Electricity Font Electronic signage

Walked down four blocks to Tally's cafe (a big diner actually). Got my Dr. Pepper float so life is good.
Sky Plant Architecture Electronic signage Electricity
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
Day 7 - The VIP treatment

Started out the morning with our tour guide picking up Krispy Kreme and sharing those, plenty left over so have breakfast for tomorrow morning for us.

What I have been sharing with the tribe is just a small sampling of all we do for the day, just giving a few highlights BUT there is a whole lot more to this trip.

There is a vintage motorcycle museum along the way but was closed. Wil makes a call and the owner came and opened it up just for us. Was full of unique bikes like a 1953 James Thunderbolt but also some well known like the Honda 750 Four.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Building Automotive tire
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Surprisingly, did not find any Indians in his collection but has a big Indian sign.
Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive tire

We end the day in Clinton, Oklahoma and got there shortly before 5pm when they lock the doors, sharp. Once again, Wil makes the call and they agree to allow us in and stay to 6pm, including keeping the gift shop open, which made the spouses happy (and have to admit, got a t-shirt myself).
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Sky Car

Place was fascinating, each section you enter is a different decade starting with building Route 66, the heyday with the end of World War II and demise with the creation of the Interstate system. They left us on the positive note with how many are keeping the sprit of Route 66 alive and over 88% of the road is still there (different conditions but you can still travel it).

Captured this photo showing an Oklahoma Highway Motorman with his Indian motorcycle.
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And this one tickled me, can you imagine anything like this today?
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Discussion Starter · #111 · (Edited)
Day 8 - On the REAL - Original - Mother road

Stopped in Elk City, Oklahoma at another Route 66 museum. This was different as it was actually a village with historical significance.
Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Automotive tire

The main building you enter, and pay, does have Route 66 items but not quite as detailed as the one in Clinton, Texas. They did have this Indian on display.
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting

Wil, our guide and owner of the touring company RideFree, took us to where there is a stretch of original Route 66 highway remaining and can say we really rode on Route 66. Just ignore that Road Closed sign....
Tire Wheel Sky Plant Automotive tire

Made it to Amarillo, Texas, staying at the hotel next to The Big Texan steak house, home of the free 72oz steak ( some conditions apply).
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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
Day 9 - End of the road (at least for us)

Started off with visiting the Cadillac Ranch and did a little spray painting.
Cloud Sky Vehicle Agriculture Grassland

Crossed the midpoint of Route 66.
Cloud Sky Flag Mammal Landscape

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Had some great cinnamon rolls at the MidPoint Cafe.
Building Event Room Retail Magenta

Yet another car museum, certainly no shortage of these along the route.
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle

Finishing up in Santa Fe. For us, we end our tour here, the rest of the group pushes on to Santa Monica. It was always planned to stop here for two reasons. 1) This was our first serious ride of any extended duration and did not want to press it the full 18 days and 2) we really did not have an interest in the second half of Route 66, had seen most of that by car.

Heading home. Learned a lot about operating the TRiO and have some questions for the designer. That I will save to another day when I get some rest. Hell of a trip!
 

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So, If I recall, you trailered the bike to the starting point.
How are you getting it home? Or, what happens when you leave Santa Fe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
Very astute, good catch noticing that! I had it set up for a friend of mine to drive the car and trailer down to Santa Fe to arrive when we did and come back the next day, luggage in the car. He totally let me down. Fortunately, being the anal retentive retired aerospace engineer, always have backup plans. We dropped the luggage off at FedEx in Santa Fe to ship home and rode the bike back to Colorado Springs. Fortunately, was a nice day and 5 hours to home. Got in around 2pm just in time as the temperature dropped to 55 and the heavens opened up with rain.

I have some follow up on my performance with the TRiO and things we learned on this trip. All good, that I'll share after getting some rest. We got a year's worth of riding in 9 days, combined with our first time riding with a group. Loved it but worn out, we're glad we made the decision to just do Chicago to Santa Fe. I will say, we did talk about doing Route 66 Part II, Santa Fe to almost LA. Our current thinking is to map this out ourselves of all the places and routes we want to take. Will take the car and trailer the bike so we'll have the luggage and not need to do freeway driving of the bike. We'll stop at certain places and ride the bike, kinda like best of both worlds, travel Route 66 with both car and bike. THAT idea is very preliminary and is just jello at the moment.

Her expression says "throughly enjoyed the trip and now glad to be home".
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