Our roadtrip along the length of Route 66 begins on Monday, 29 September, when we collect our bikes – Harley-Davidsons, what else! – from Eaglerider’s Berwyn, Chicago depot. Allowing time for the paperwork, we have an easy start – just under 200 miles to Springfield, Illinois, where we overnight.

Tuesday’s more demanding – 300+ miles from Springfield, Illinois to Springfield, Missouri, via St Louis, where we cross the Mississippi River. Then another 300-mile day from Springfield, MO, passing briefly through Kansas en route to Tulsa and on to Oklahoma City. Already, on our third day, we will have ridden through four states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. On Thursday, we press 250 miles further south – into Texas, through the appropriately-named (for us!) Shamrock, to our overnight in Amarillo – show me the way!!

At this point, we begin to travel almost due west, passing the mid-point of Route 66 somewhere between the towns of Vega and Adrian. We have a 300-mile ride on Friday from Amarillo, via Tucumcari (formerly Six-Shooter Siding! we’re in Injun territory!) to Albuquerque in New Mexico, where we will overnight in the Route 66 Casino Hotel. Saturday takes us another 300+ miles west, via Winslow (yes, the Winslow with the corner!) to Flagstaff, Arizona, where we will spend both Saturday and Sunday night. Sunday’s nominally a rest-day, but I understand that we’ll be back on the bikes again – off to see the Grand Canyon, less than 100 miles away – a mere nothing to us, with nearly 1,700 miles behind us now, two-thirds of the journey.

Monday sees us add another state to our roll – one more than previous years, as we cross into Nevada to overnight in Laughlin – in another casino hotel, in case we have any money left after Albuquerque! On Tuesday, we ride through Williams, Seligman, Hackberry, Kingman and Oatman and cross the Rockies into California, our last state, and within sight of the end – we overnight in Victorville.

And the end of our journey comes on Wednesday, 8 October, when we complete the last 100 or so miles across California, from Victorville to Santa Monica, where we will make a grand entrance – all 70+ bikes descending en masse on the Pier, complete with police escorts! What an occasion that will be!

I have made this roadtrip dozens of times already in my imagination, helped by maps and guidebooks – strange to think that, in less than three weeks, I’ll actually have done it for real!