Czech-ing Route 66
On A Bicycle

Czechoslovakian rides Chicago to Santa Monica.

Posted: September 22, 2016

    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,, that only plays American music.

    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 home.

    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 Association.

    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 in Barstow.

    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.

September 21, 2016
Zdenek Jurasek completes his 2321-mile Route 66 trip
at the "spiritual end" of Route 66 on the Santa Monica pier.
The official western terminus of Route 66 is a short distance
away at Lincoln and Olympic Boulevards.

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