By Alex Walters
Since 1982, the United States Bicycle Route System has marked out over 13,000 miles of numbered interstate cycling routes across the connected U.S. to give passionate bikers, enthusiasts, and the adventurous an opportunity to experience this country in a unique way. Currently, there are no U.S. Bicycle Routes in Oklahoma, and with Missouri and Kansas recently designating signed bike routes, we shouldn’t be far behind in adding our own long-distance bicycle paths.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation began meeting in March to apply for the bike program that would run down historic Route 66. The proposed route would stretch across 400 miles of the historic highway in Oklahoma and through downtown Sapulpa, starting at the intersection of Oak and Dewey on to the Ozark Trail.
On Monday, the Board of Commissioners for Creek County approved the hanging and maintenance of signage for the bicycle route, with the Route 66 Alliance agreeing to provide the signs.
The new bicycle route, if approved, will provide a safe and fun way for bicyclists to travel and enjoy the sights, as well as promote tourism for long-distance bikers coming down historic Route 66 through downtown Sapulpa. Bicyclists can also journey to Catoosa and visit the Blue Whale in his lake, or swing through Arcadia and visit Pops Soda for a refresher during their travel.
Ken Busby, Executive Director of the Route 66 Alliance, seems excited for the new bike route and for Oklahoma to open for inter-state bicycle travel. With surrounding states adopting routes, it only makes sense for Oklahoma to do the same and allow bicyclists of all skill levels to travel and enjoy our beautiful state.