Bicyclist Tracy Flucke

Bicyclist Peter FluckeEDWARDSVILLE - Tandem bicyclists Peter and Tracy Flucke are deep into their 2,700-mile quest on old Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif.

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The two passed through Edwardsville in June and headed down Vandalia Street in Edwardsville on their journey.

The two posted on their Facebook page on Monday, July 4, they were 1,791 miles along the path and going from Santa Rosa, N.M., to Las Vegas. The couple was 550 miles on the way when they left Edwardsville headed to Oklahoma, Texas, and deserts out west. The two are from Green Bay, Wisc., and the trip officially started in Chicago.

A year ago, they biked the length of the Mississippi River and before that biked from Washington to Maine. The two own the consulting firm, “WE BIKE, etc. The journey on Route 66 started in Chicago in June. The two attempt to average 13 to 15 mph on their tandem bike along their journey.

“Tracy and I probably have been biking together since our children were little,” Peter Flucke said. “That probably includes about 25 good years. We actually do all our major tours on a tandem bicycle. When our oldest daughter was four years old, we decided we wanted to do longer biking and her trailer wasn’t an option. We liked riding together so in 2000 we bought our current road tandem bike and have done 25,000 miles on it, two cross country trips west to east and north to south and now we tackled Route 66.”

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The two own WE BIKE etc., LLC, a consulting firm specializing in the areas of engineering, education, enforcement and encouragement for walking, bicycling and healthy communities. Peter and wife Tracy strive to improve community vitality through creating happier, healthier communities.

Tracy said it is great to research the cross country projects.

“I started researching the historic and natural sites along Route 66 and we are excited to experience that,” she said. “I have learned a lot of about historical preservation. We are so excited to work with the people who have opened up gas stations and buildings along the route. That triggers something in me and I am glad people are preserving and keeping that history.”

One of the strangest experiences of their journeys occurred last year in Mississippi when they were struggling to find any services and they found themselves off road. They noticed eight teenage boys with four hot rod cars and emerged on what had become their drag strip about 4 to 5 miles out of town. They nodded to them as they drove by and noticed they wore black t-shirts with gang colors. The boys were all polite and waved and eventually hung out at a gas station in the nearby town with them."

There have been constant acts of kindness during the couple’s journey. One was when someone paid their ferry fee and others have offered food, drinks, and people are always inquisitive about what they are doing and offer them support.

Something the couple has noticed is that people are proud of where they are from and feel a part of the journey when they talk to them.

“Through our bicycle trips, we hope to spark a sense of adventure in those who hear about our journey,” Peter Flucke, President of WE BIKE etc., LLC, said. “We also do these trips to raise awareness of bicycle safety, promote fitness and entertain and motivate our followers.”

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