Governor Bruce Rauner and fellow motorcycle enthusiasts are traveling Route 66 again this year for the annual “Governor’s Ride to Springfield” on Saturday, September 23rd. The ride will depart from two suburban Chicago locations and travel Route 66 to Springfield, with scheduled stops in Dwight, Lexington, Lincoln and Springfield. The DuKane and Lincoln Land A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois chapters are the official escorts for the ride.
The ride departs from two locations at 9:30am – Illinois Harley Davidson in the Route 66 community of Countryside, and Fox River Harley Davidson in St. Charles. The ride cost is $10.00 which will be matched by the Rauner family foundation and donated to registered 501c3 Veterans organizations. The Boy Scouts will offer a pancake breakfast at Illinois Harley and Fox River Harley from 7:30 am to 9:15am for a $5 donation.
The ride departs from two additional locations as well. Participants can join the ride at 10am in Dwight, IL at the historic Ambler-Becker Texaco station across the street, where they will be greeted by the Texaco station attendant and 50s-era poodle skirt ladies. In Lexington, the Governor’s Ride will be traveling along historic Memory Lane to the Veterans Monument on Main Street. Estimated time of arrival is 11:55 am, and participants can join the ride from Lexington as well.
“The last Governor to set foot in Lexington was Charles Denenn in July of 1908. So, you can only imagine the excitement in the air concerning Governor Bruce Rauner’s visit to our community. We look forward to showing him and all the riders why Lexington is a great place to visit, and a better place to live,” said Lexington Mayor Spencer Johansen.
After fueling at the Dixie Truck Stop in McLean, the next stop is at The Mill on 66, the newly-opened Route 66 museum in Lincoln IL, at approximately. 2:15 pm. The motorcycle tour will take the original alignment of Route 66 through downtown Lincoln on the way to The Mill, which is also the home of the Salt Creek A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois chapter memorial display. Ice cold water will be provided for free to all riders, courtesy of Puritan Springs Bottled Water of Lincoln and the Logan County Tourism Bureau. Salt Creek A.B.A.T.E. chapter members will be on hand to greet the riders and assist with parking.
The Governor’s Ride will then head to Springfield for the overnight stop at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The Governor will lead a contingency to the International Mother Road Festival in downtown Springfield. They will visit the Travel Illinois Expo and sign the Annual Route 66 Car Hood at the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway tent. At the completion of the ride there will be food, beverages and live entertainment.
Bill Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, noted that “the Governor is a great supporter of Route 66 and we’re looking forward to the riders joining us at the Mother Road Festival.”
The Governor’s Ride is a fully state and local police escorted ride down historic Route 66, honoring Veterans along the way.
Contact William Kelly, Executive Director, Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway at 217-525-9308.