New American Genius cycle route

12 Feb , 2013  

We may have said this before but we are always delighted to hear about new cycle-friendly routes across the world. Cycling tours are a brilliant way to see new countries, whether you travel with a cycling holiday company or on your own.

The American Genius Highway is a new 260-mile bike route Hannibal and St Joseph and right across northern Missouri in the US.  The cycle route stretches from one side of the state to another and generally follows US 36, which was only recently completed as a four-lane, divided highway across the state.

The route was built in conjunction with tourism funding boosters from a region that is keen to see more cyclists in their area.

Why the Way of American Genius?

The name of the route has come about because of a string of famous people who are linked to the region, including Walt Disney, Mark Twain, outlaw Jesse James, retailer JC Penney and WWI General John “Blackjack” Pershing.  There are a number of historic sites along the route that highlight the lives of these people and their contributions to America.

How the American Genius route was created

Using Google maps and detailed maps provided by the state highway department with vehicle counts and other information, the route planners aimed for low-traffic, scenic roads that ran in parallel to the main four-lane highway and hit as many of the top attractions as possible.

url-3Once the route was completed on paper, local cyclists offered feedback on the suitability of the routes. Then, in September last year a test ride was undertaken. They cyclists took three days to cover the 260 miles.

This year will be the first full year of the route being promoted by the Missouri Highway 36 Heritage Alliance, and the group believes it will grow in popularity.

Tell us about your favourite bike route or a route you enjoyed on a cycling holiday.



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A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she's not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she'll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.