On Monday, September 19, 2016, a small dot in Newberry Springs appeared
to the east on Route 66.
As the dot grew larger, it was apparent that it was Zdenek Jurasek,
54, peddling on the 29th day of a 31-day bicycle adventure from the origination of Route 66
in Chicago to the 'End of the Trail' in Santa Monica. A trip of over 2300 miles!
Jurasek lives in Zlin, a city with a population of 75,000 in the
eastern part of the Czech Republic. Europe has a number of Route 66 clubs; Jurasek
is the president of the Czech Republic's club that has about 130 members.
The club holds conventions, meetings, and exhibitions. The club also has an online
radio station, Radio66.cz, that only plays
Jurasek was bitten with the Route 66 bug when he first visited the United
States in 1998. Over the last 18 years, he has traveled Route 66 23-times, usually traveling
with members of his club that have Route 66 tours about twice a year.
The Czechoslovakian did bicycle the Mother Road once before, but that was
18 years ago at age 36 with a thinner waistline. Since then, his trips have been
by motor transport. His club's trips involve members flying to Chicago or Los Angeles,
renting motorcycles and automobiles, and then traveling the route one-way. Thereafter, flying
This trip Jurasek was by himself, followed by a Czech documentary film crew
that is preparing a documentary for Czech television and Europe. While in Newberry Springs,
the documentary crew interviewed Newberrian, Ted Stimpfel, of the California Historic Route 66
While traveling Route 66 to Newberry, Jurasek had to replace two tires and
repair six flats. His most grueling day was the previous day traveling 106-miles from
Needles to Ludlow in 105-degree heat. Jurasek stated that he felt that the worse pavement
of his entire trip was just east of Newberry.
The Newberry Springs Community Alliance supported Jurasek's Newberry Springs to
Barstow segment by assisting Jurasek and his documentary video crew with rooms at the Quality Inn
Stimpfel states that he finds inspiration in Jurasek, "Jurasek is a fun,
friendly person who as been a fantastic ambassador for Route 66. He exemplifies the worldwide
interest in Route 66."
Route 66 celebrates its 90th birthday on November 11, 2016.