anything goes

Hitting Route 66

I’m hitting Route 66, named American Main Street or American Mother Road. How else they call it, it’s a road which my parents should be hitting before I was born, if they … weren’t Russians (so I am)

and you have no idea what the hell they were hit instead (so I did).

Before moving to South Africa, I was a motoring journalist in Moscow for a while, took the latest models of motor cars for test drives, learned myself and touch the readers driving techniques. I was a biggest fun of motor cars, but not any more. For me it’s easier to keep a legal speed riding a bicycle than driving a car. So I’m riding a bicycle all the way from Illinois to California.


As I’m not good on a saddle like I’m on a driver’s seat I didn’t mind the brand and even the model. When I asked around the web which kind of bike should I use for trip like that I was given quite different answers. The same point of each was to not buy the cheapest bike in Walmart. That                         gave me an idea to do exactly that and it was a few reasons for buying my Roadmaster MTB for $79 (I didn’t see cheaper) in Walmart.


– I didn’t pack my expansive MTB at OR Tambo airport of Johannesburg and didn’t unpack it at O’Hare airport of Chicago. I decided to leave it at home. I didn’t take off the wheels, the pedals and didn’t twist the handle bar. I didn’t know and didn’t want to know how to do all that. However, I don’t want to be busy with packing/unpacking my bike either at the airports or carry my bike without wheels from home to home.

– My transferring from the airport to the start point without bicycle was much more easier rather than with one. I made the first Walmart on the way from Chicago to Santa Monica the starting point of my journey and bought the bike there.

– If something is wrong with the bike, no need to learn where the cycling workshops along the road are. If there are. Walmarts are everywhere no matter if you learned that or not. Either you will get your bike fixed there or simply exchange it for the new one. The same about all accessories.

– If my bike brakes in the middle of nowhere, somebody will through it on the back of the vehicle and bring me to the Walmart. I’m not sure if someone will be able to bring me to the cycling workshop even he would like to.


– If my bike will be still alive at my finish point, I donate it (should think about to whom). If not, I get money back from Walmart. That what they guarantee.

– I carry only pump and spare camera, no any other tools or oils. I will serve my bike in Walmarts! Probably.

– Not once I fixed my first motor car myself. No ways I will fix the bike. I like to wash my car. No ways I will wash the bike. I can’t explain that.

– Any expansive sport bike looks ugly with panniers, so what’s the point.


Actually I made a decision of riding Route 66 after Adventure Cycling Association notified FB that special  Bicycle Route 66 was mapped separate from regular Rout 66 and I was sure I could buy this map with the first McDonalds’s WiFi on the way. It happened to be more complicated as there wasn’t an application but database and studying mapping and GPS databases is on my to do list but not at the moment. So I simply downloaded the app from with interactive map of regular route 66 with all sign-seeing information and started enjoying everything on it. It was the point of realising that I don’t really want to use park roads so I leave scenery for hiking.

Patchouli drove me to my starting point of Lansing Walmart from Damascus with overnight staying at Barbarossa’s Shenandoah rancho and drinking a lot of raw milk with. Yes, these funny names are trail names.

Ranch at Shenandoah

Ranch at Shenandoah

As I didn’t find Bicycle Route 66, so just started cycling towards Joliet to join regular Rout 66. It was 22nd of May. I think.

Lena Faber used to work as a journalist at a mainstream Russian newspaper, she wrote books for a major publishing house, and directed her original concept on Drive TV in Russia. In 2009, she moved to South Africa and taught at the University of SA, where she took up running competitively and won a silver medal at the World Masters Athletic Championship. She has also won an international photo contest and had a photo exhibition of her work. In 2014 she decided to try fast long-distance hiking and started with the Appalachian Trail where she earned a trail name "Brave" from other hikers. She has also cycled US Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, as well as other parts of the world. Still hiking and cycling somewhere.

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