Good to know on the road
List of the hotels we will stay at:
Best Western Plus South Bay Hotel
15000 Hawthorne Blvd
Lawndale, CA 90260
Holiday Inn Rolling Meadows
3405 W Algonquin Road
Rolling Meadows, Il 60008
Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
2000 S. Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89104
Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center
625 E St Joseph St
Springfield, IL 62703
Best Western Montis Inn
14086 State Hwy. Z
St. Roberts, MO 65584
Quality Inn Claremore
1720 S Lynn Riggs Blvd
Claremore, OK 74017
Best Western Plus Mark Motel
525 E Main St.
Weatherford, OK 73096
Big Texan Steak Ranch Hotel
I-40 exit 74
7701 I 40, Access Rd
Amarillo, TX 79118
Days Inn & Suites Santa Rosa
2255 Historic Route 66
Santa Rosa, NM 88435
Quality Inn University
2015 Menaul Blvd, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107
El Rancho Motel
1000 E Hwy 66
Gallup, NM 87301
Hollywood Investment INC
642 E Route 66
Useful Traffic Tips
- In the US people drive on the right side of the road.
- All distances are issued in miles (See conversions below).
- Traffic light colors (red, yellow, green) are the same as in Europe.
- At flashing yellow traffic lights, pay attention while crossing the the street.
- At flashing red traffic lights, always stop before crossing the street.
- If you approach a flashing red octagon (8-sided) sign, you must make a complete stop before continuing.
- A yellow triangle means that you have to stop for incoming traffic (you don’t have the right of way).
- On all roads with double yellow lines, it is forbidden to cross these lines or pass other vehicles.
- On larger roads with multiple lanes in each direction, the fastest traffic runs in the lane furthest to the left. Here you are only allowed to pass other vehicles on the left side.
- The speed limits on highways vary from state to state.
- In most states, helmets and goggles are required. You are responsible for this and drive at your own risk.
- It is prohibited (against the law) to drive past yellow school buses if its warning light is on.
- It is prohibited (against the law) to drink alcohol in a vehicle. The alcohol limit is 0,8 (prison sentence).
- You may always make a full stop when required (the rules are strictly enforced by officials).
- You are allowed to make a turn to the right at a red light, unless otherwise stated.
- There is a minimum speed limit of 72 km/h (45 mph) on the Interstate and the highways. The maximum speed limits range from 105-120 km/h.
- Motorcycles are not allowed to drive in the innermost lane on the highways in cities –this lane is strictly intended for public transport.
On the U.S mainland there are four time zones:
– Eastern Time
– Central Time
– Mountain Time
– Pacific Time
Between each time zone there is a one-hour difference.
1 Mile = 1,6 Km
1 Foot = 30 Cm
1 inch = 2,54 Cm
1 US pint = 0,5 Liter
1 US gallon = 3,8 Liter
1 Km = 0,6 Miles
In the US they use Fahrenheit instead of Celsius;
0 Celsius = 32 Fahrenheit
20 Celsius = 68 Fahrenheit
30 Celsius = 86 Fahrenheit
35 Celsius = 95 Fahrenheit.
Making emergency phone calls
Always dial 911 for Police , Ambulance and Fire Department
Always carry the phone number for your personal travel insurance company
Loosing your creditcard
VISA: Call (800) 336 8472
American Express: Call (800) 528 4800
Mastercard: (800) 826 2181
Lost travel checks: Thomas Cook Assistance – Call (800) 223 7373
Loosing your passport
A lost passport must immediately be reported to police officials in the US. Thereafter your embassy or general consulate can issue a new emergency passport. There is usually a fee associated with an emergency passport. An emergency passport can only be issued to persons that can document their citizenship.
Riding on the bikes
We emphasize 100% safety during the entire journey and will ride in a “zipper-formation”. The accompanying vehicle drives first. The ‘back-troop’, comprised of the most experiences drivers ALWAYS stay at the back –regardless of what happens.
We form a line, with a little distance (not too far, not too short) between each bike and drive in the formation of a long ‘snake’. On Route 66 we usually have the relatively narrow roads for ourselves. The few stretches where Route 66 is not drivable or no longer exists, we will drive on Interstate 40 and normally stay within the innermost or second innermost lane. (This is most practical, as we don’t need to pay attention to the vehicles exiting on the right-hand side).
The speed will be comfortable and not too fast and we usually get to drive relatively uninterrupted by other traffic. We carry vests that will be used after dark.
The guide will walk you through all the instructions, explanations and tips regarding traffic and safety on the road when we pick up the bikes prior to the start of our trip. It is important that everyone pays attention to this session.
Please be patient with one another, especially the first couple of days when participants are getting to know their bikes and the American roads. We are confident that everything will go smoothly and remember, we are here to have a good time!
All our guides have American cell phones so make sure to write down their numbers and keep it in your pocket with your fully charged cell phone throughout the day.
Making emergency stops
If something happens on the road that requires you to make a stop (if you feel unwell in any way), raise your left arm and keep it there until the person in front of you does the same. A chain reaction of riders raising their left arm will eventually reach the accompanying car, which will then initiate a stop. (Do this before you get seriously ill!)
If you all sudden feel really unwell and feel the need to stop immediately, drive as far out to the side and as far away from the traffic as you can. Only the very LAST bike stop!!! It becomes too dangerous if 20 bikes make a stop on the side of the road. The rest of the group will of course not leave you behind, but will make a stop at the first safe opportunity.
Looking out for each other
Everyone is responsible for keeping an eye on the person behind them in the rear mirror. If half the group makes a green light, but the second half of the group needs to stop at a red light, it is the last person who made the green light who has the responsibilty to wait for the rest of the group. If the last person slows down as to stay in sight for the second group, the vehicles in front of the group will also slow down. This way we are able to stick together as a group.
Please be extra cautious and check your rear mirror frequently as to not leave anyone behind. It will help the group avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations where people become stressed and frightened. Every day we will have a chosen person, someone safe and experienced, in the back of the group.
Drinks while driving
Bring water bottles that you can open and close with your teeth. This way you can drink with your left hand while you steer with the right. Place the bottles upside down between the handlebars and the windshield. The guides sell water/soft drinks from the accompanying vehicle every day. We can also make stops at other places than gas stations.
Speed and safety
We try, at all times, to drive at a comfortable speed that suits all participants. This means that some may feel that a certain speed is a bit slow while on the contrary, others will feel that the same speed is a bit fast. However, on the highways we may have to maintain a speed that enables us to keep up with the rest of the traffic. Be very clear in signaling to others where you are going.
Americans are well mannered on the road and generally show consideration when we drive as a group. Try to “read” the traffic, use your common sense and don’t take risks. If you are riding in the middle of our formation and no longer see the person in front of you due to a car or two intercepting in the middle of us, don’t feel stressed or do panic. If you wait a few seconds, the cars will eventually leave our row and pass the entire group. When all is clear, speed up a bit in order to catch up with the bikes in front and close the gap in our formation preventing more cars to come in between us.
Breaks and stops along the way
We make a stop approximately once every hour. Some stops are short (about 10-15 minutes) -just to stretch our legs a bit, bathroom breaks, purchasing a drink etc. Other breaks are a bit longer (about 30-90 minutes). These breaks are planned with your guide and often it is to visit a famous attraction or sight underway.
After 2-3 hours on the road, we make a stop to eat lunch (45 minutes to 1 hour). This will be planned with the guide. Those who get hungry and feel the need for a snack before or after the lunch break can simply grab a hotdog, sandwich or some other fast food.
Please don’t order big meals when we make stops at gas stations to fill up our tanks, as it will delay our trip and might jeopardize some other activity on our program. We recommend that everyone bring something salty with them on the bike (peanuts, beef jerky etc). You can always refill your ‘snack reserve’ at the gas stations.
We fill up our tanks every second hour. Everybody will fill up their tanks at every fuel stop made even if they appear to have a nearly full tank. Some bikes have smaller tanks than others, which mean we will make frequent stops for their sake. The tank meter display can also sometimes be misleading so we always fill up just in case.
When the accompanying vehicle makes a turn towards a gas station and makes the sign for refueling, the group should form two rows and approach the petrol pumps. The guide will get the pumps going and two assigned participants will fill all the tanks. ALL engines need to be turned off while we wait for the tanks to be filled (for environmental reasons) and each driver simply push their bike towards the pump when it is their turn.
Those who are last in line have time to run to the bathroom while the first bikes get filled up and vice versa. Those in charge of refueling take down notes of the amount and prize of each refueling, which is handed over to the guide before the pump is returned. For those who wish to ride alone, one needs to remember to bring the receipts for fuel and show up with a full tank the following day.
Roads and U.S Route 66
Every year we get the question about how much of Route 66 we really cover. As a matter in fact, only 80% of the original Route 66 still exists today. At some places, the road is destroyed or blocked, at other places the road is a one-way road with a 20-30km/h speed limit.
We will cover as much of the original Route 66 between Chicago and L.A. (or vice versa) as possible and make sure that you experience everything worth seeing along the way. Do not worry because we guarantee that you will no miss out on any of the “goodies” and must-sees on the way. If there is something in particular you wish to see, talk to the guide and we’ll see what can be done. [It is completely up to you if you want to follow the accompanying vehicle or drive on your own. Just remember to inform the guide to avoid unnecessary confusion or worries.]
During some parts of the trip, we have to drive on the Interstate 40 or other modern roads in order to get to our destination, which is inevitable.
Daily departure – rise and shine!
Every evening before you receive the keys to your room, the group will agree on a departure time for the following day. If the departure time is set to, for example, 8:30am, this means that you should be on your bikes and ready at 8:30am! You should have finished with your breakfast and made a final toilet visit so that we don’t need to make unnecessary stops right after departure.
Breakfast at hotels
Most hotels in the US offer a simple standard breakfast, i.e. coffee, juice, donuts, cornflakes, milk etc. Some of the hotels also offer a bigger breakfast with eggs, bacon, warm dishes, bread etc.
If you need a hearty breakfast to start you day, you may want to buy some food at the local supermarket and keep it in your hotel room. Most people eat a light breakfast right before departure and then we eat a bigger lunch around 2-3 hours later.
Summary meeting attendance
Every evening before you’re handed the keys to your room, we will gather for a small meeting to summarize the day, share information regarding special events in the evening and plan when to meet up for departure the following day. If you for some reason are unable to attend the meeting, please make sure to inform your guide.
It is important that you talk to the guide to find out about any important announcements or updates prior to the departure the following day. Some guides will bring a small message book, which they leave with the hotel reception so that participants can have a look at any new announcements before going to bed.
What to bring on the bike
You should bring the following in the side bags of your motorcycle:
- A couple of water bottles
- Rain gear (although we rarely need it, but it is good to avoid having to go through all the baggage if the skies open up)
- Wallet (some cash for buying an ice cream, a cold drink or snacks at the gas stations)
- The day plan and itinerary with hotel addresses and the guides’ contact details.
- Fully charged cellphone
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, wet wipes to clean our goggles, and whatever else you may need in the course of the day. If you have a pair of neutral or yellow glass, bring these as well.
- Basic first aid kit, headache pills etc.
Print out the program that you will receive by email prior to the trip. This way you have a reference for all the hotels, addresses and contact details. The day plan and activities are only meant as suggestions from our side. Those who wish to spend the evening or driving-free day on their own are, of course, welcome to. We want you to have the best trip possible.
The sun is very strong so use sunscreen with a minimum of 25SPF at all times.
In July and August, the temperature can get up to 46 degrees in the desert areas. If you are sensitive to that kind of heat, we recommend to travel in May, June or Septemtember instead. The journey through the desert areas are only for a few days on the trip. We also make frequent stops every hour to take a break in the shade, drink a refreshing beverage, or cool down in the air-conditioned gas stations.
We always bring a cooler box with lots of cold drinks on the bikes throughout the trip. You will always carrying 2 water bottles on your bike, and when we are riding the bikes the actual temperature is 15-20 degrees cooler due to the wind-chill factor so the heat should not generally be a problem.
Some people prefers May as a period to ride, as the weather is quite stable and not so warm. Others prefer September, which offers a wider spectrum of weather.
Due to limited space in the accompanying vehicle carrying all the baggage, we need to ask participants to limit intense shopping sprees on the first phase of the trip . Once we have returned the bikes (in either in Chicago or Los Angeles), you will have 2-3 days to explore the city and shop till you drop, if you wish.
Our guides can suggest nice areas to shop or outlets where brand items are sold at very affordable prices.
Our tour guides
We have two guides in each accompanying vehicle (1 main guide and possibly one in training). We bring a GPS and several maps if you want to study the itinerary. The accompanying vehicle usually drives as first vehicle, except on a few stretches when it may drive as last vehicle.
Please treat our guides nicely. They do a great job, make an essential part of our company and do their very best to ensure that you get the best and safest experience possible. Most of the guides have previously been a participant themselves on Route 66 USA and know how to take care of a big group and spread positive energy!
More tips and information
Click here for the English version (DEAD LINK)
Click here for the Norwegian version (PDF LINK)
Click here for the Swedish version (PDF LINK)
More info about Day-to-day schedules (Link)