Cleadon man, 73, completes dream Route 66 journey across America after two-year delay due to pandemic - here's his insight on the best places along the way

A retired serviceman has fulfilled his dream of travelling across Route 66 in America after having the trip postponed for two years due to the pandemic.

Sunday, 15th May 2022, 4:55 am

David Rose, 73, originally from Cleadon, was all set to travel across the pond to America in 2020 and live out his long-held dream of riding across Route 66.

But four days before his flight, President Donald Trump announced a ban of UK residents entering the country as part of the USA’s early Covid-19 pandemic response.

Now, two years later, David has finally been able to travel the 2,622-miles route with a biking group, taking in some amazing sights in states such as Arizona and New Mexico.

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David on Route 66

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Starting in Chicago, Illinois, David, a retired RAF serviceman, spent three weeks travelling along the route, and finished in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.

He said: “I've been biking on and off since 1974 but nothing serious, riding around for the joy of it and commuting to work.

"At 60 I retired and got into it more seriously. I started to dream about Route 66 and think how fabulous it would be to do it. I then saw the Hairy Bikers do the route and found it fascinating.”

David on Route 66

David, who now lives in Gloucester, also gave his insight into some of the special places to visit along the famous route.

“There are some terrific places to visit on the route. The Route 66 Museum, in Kingman, Arizona, is not to be missed. The beauty of New Mexico struck me with its mountains, its twisting mountain roads, forests and, of course, Santa Fe.

“I loved riding through the more historic and cultural areas such as the Navajo Nation, Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park and the Petrified Forest National Park. We also had a helicopter trip over the Grand Canyon. You just cannot get the magnitude of it watching it on a screen, it is breath-taking.”

Throughout his journey, David was blown away by the kind and welcoming nature of people from the small towns he visited.

David on Route 66

He added: “The people in the small places we visited were so welcoming and loved seeing a biking tour as we were the first one for over two years.”

David at the end of the route in LA