Santa Monica, California

Believe it or not, for Phyllis, Route 66 is a training ride! "I can't believe it myself", is her comment about this amazing adventure. Late in l994, Phyllis wrote an article in a senior women's cyclists newsletter, looking for three women to join her in forming the first-ever senior women's team to enter Race Across America '96. Thus was TEAM W4 born-on email. And thus did PAC Tour-Route 66 become the final leg of a monumental training program for this 53 year old mother and grandmother, who first got serious about fitness at age 44, when she took up everything from racquetball and aerobics to gymnastics and cycling. But it was weight lifting with martial arts instructor, Dennis Smith, and spin training with fitness advisor, Johnny Goldberg "that miraculously changed my life', says Phyllis. Her current training has been orchestrated by San Diego coach Dr. Arnie Baker and with Elaine Mariolle as Team W4's Crew Chief, Route 66 was the icing on the cake. In addition, she has been a retail plant store owner, comedy writer and producer, and comedians' manager, as well as a commercial actress. She feels being part of Team W4 and Route 66 is also a life changing experience, and expects to get great joy - and with luck a few jokes - from "pedaling my butt back and forth across the country".

June 2: Bloomington

Day 1

Route 66 as "couch" -- between rain, hail, cold, 100 miles of severe gusting headwinds and mechanical problems with my brand new bike, a whole textbook of emotions and neuroses boiled up and demanded to be dealt with -- and hey - at 12 miles per hour, there's plenty of time. But when you pull into the motel -- such a beautiful sight -- it's like having a baby -- the minute you see it, you forget the pain and look forward to the thrills yet to come. About the rain -- the good news is the wind stopped blowing -- the bad news is its pouring and hailing on you.

And to my friends in Atlanta, the little "Mind Wavers" -- what's blowing down there with you.

With love & kicks -- from Phyllis 66
especially to Max, Paul & Heidi -- my favorites L.F.J.'s

June 3: Litchfield

No rain, no hail, no broken bike... just in-your-face headwinds and bumpy roads... downright relaxing... this makes a person stronger... by the end of the trip i expect to be Godzilla Granny. love & tailwinds to all.... Phyllis

P.S. Alex and Softride: check out the Divernon News.. next week's edition..... front page picture of Softride and me wearing the jersey.... by the way that's Divernon, Illinois....

June 6: Joplin

Phyllis.... Day 5..... Oh the shame of it.... only did 29 miles, then rode in the van .... needed to make some phone calls, which seemed a perfect opportunity to slump out the day.. here's the weird part: i felt much better riding than "sagging" (biker lingo for riding in the support vehicle).... sagging makes you feel sluggish... biking makes you feel alive.. vibrant... eager to crank through headwinds, hammer uphills, eat cookies... godzilla mama lives... once again... love to the lfj's, the mindwavers, and all my favorites cyberweenies, wherever they may be.

June 8: Chandler

Holy Caboly... What a trip this is.. day before yeserday we rode on this incredible burnt orange color gravel road... that's the color of the soil.. it waS surreal.. then Celeste fell and we had to go to the hospital... she had nine stitiches... then yesterday we rode only a breezy 95 miles... can you imagine what has to happen to make 95 miles seems easy.... if you can imagine it, then you must have already done it.. hahahaa .... and my dreams are getting totaly current.. Celeste went home and i dreamed that i lost my purse with all my money in it!!... yahooooooo... so long till later on... down the road.. love and TAILWINDS to all the LFJ's , the MINDWAVIANS, Dr. Baker, et al... and the Weedwackers.

June 12: Tucumcari

Well I haven't written for a few days, just been chilling out. Now I realize after reading what Gerry wrote just before me that I haven't mentioned a thing about this incredible group that I am with. Lon and Susan Haldeman run this compnay called PAC Tour that organizes the whole trip. the organization in my eyes is something of a miracle. Not only is everyday perfectly planned for and comes off according to the plan but the crew members must have gone to Nordstrom's "be nice to the customer school" because it seems that no matter where you are - you could be out in the middle of nowhere or in your motel room - if you need something or want something they have a way to provide it and never once do you feel that your needs or requests are out of line. In some strange sense they are a kind of role model for how people can treat each other and how nice it can be. These qualities also are evident among the riders. This could be what everybody means when they say you face yourself and find yourself on these kinds of rides across the country. This is an amazing experience. Love and tailwinds ...

June 17: Winslow

Backtracking on the road is unthinkable, but on the web I'll take my chances.... back 3 or 4 days.... to the Santa Fe Trail, a difficult but incredibly beautiful climb, that was early in the day - before lunch... then after lunch more climbing... then more climbing... in fact there was so much climbing, I thought the next hill I see I'm walking up... then I thought the next hill I see, I'm hitch-hiking... of course I looked up ahead and saw nothing but these huge, long, oppressive hills... and as long I kept giving myself these reasons NOT to do them, I was able to get through them.... and that's how I finished that 5000 feet of climbing. The next day was just as bad, and I had even more excuses... fortunately I think it rained that afternoon, and lucky for me, I didn't have rain gear with me, so i spent the last 20 miles of the day in the van. Hey.... recovery is very important! The last 2 days hae been relatively easy... (power is ebbing in the power book right wer book right now, so I'll have to finis h later).. love and tailwinds to all.. especially Jo and Silver Streakers everywhere....
Backpedal to Phyllis' first posts.