Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Morning with Phil Keoghan

Despite the cool and damp weather, there was a good crowd of both Amazing Race fans and cyclists at the GNC Polaris today to welcome the CBS TV host and all-around adventurer Phil Keoghan to Columbus for the next installment of his bike ride across the United States, Phil Rides Across America.

Folks began gathering around 8:00, when the GNC opened, and Phil arrived at 8:30 and said a few words to the audience about Multiple Sclerosis, the ride so far (including some gory details of the spill he took yesterday - he had a big bandage on his right cheek from the spill, some road rash along his right leg, and complained jokingly about how he was REALLY upset that he'd torn a whole in his shoe cover!), and the One Square Meal product that has kept him going not only on this ride but throughout his 28-day shooting schedules for the Amazing Race. They had some free samples, and they're pretty good!

Apparently he was originally planning to trace the route of the Tour de France but CBS wanted him to do a national tour to promote the TV show, so he combined the two into a ride across America. The National MS Society got involved as well, and the goal was to raise $250,000 by the end of the ride. Well, he's only to Ohio, and the figure they've raised so far was $300,000! So the ride is already a success from that standpoint!

He then stayed around to sign copies of his book, No Opportunity Wasted : Creating a List for Life, and whatever other items folks wanted to have him sign as well, obviously. The crowd was an interesting grouping of fans of his TV show and the cyclists who wanted to ride with him! I met a few of them, and all of them were quite interested to learn that Phil is apparently quite an accomplished cyclist, going at an average of 18-20 MPH in the cities and up to 30 MPH once out of town. He's not messing around here, folks! I was fortunate to meet Joe Biker from Cincinnati, with whom I've been corresponding briefly about today's ride. I look forward to hearing more about the ride from Joe once he gets back!

Once I get home and have a chance, I'll post some pictures from the event. Thanks to Phil for riding for MS and for taking the time to meet some fans today!

People, not speed.

4 comments:

  1. I'd love to see some photos. I rode with him in Ft Wayne and was trying to do so again today, but couldn't make it. How many cyclists would you say showed up? At the FTW stop there was a crowd of maybe 75-100 and 40 or so riding. It was a large enough group that you couldn't get much one-on-one time. One guy stayed along side of him most of the ride and I kept looking for a chance to squeeze in. We paced 18-19 mph through town then kept increasing thereafter. Even with a 20mph cross wind he kept up 21-22 ave and was always in front. Riders started falling off quickly after an hour. I lasted about 2... sorry, your post was about Columbus not FTW.

    Why is he in Mt. Vernon (thought he was going SE) and what's up with the GPS reading 45-50mph? Is it all down hill from Columbus or is it tracking the van?

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  2. I won't have any photos of the ride, unfortunately. I'm not a road cyclist and there's no way that I could keep up with Phil and Co. on my commuter bike. But I will have pics of the event and some of the folks who showed up here.

    I'm absolutely terrible at gauging the size of crowds, but I'd say we had 50-odd folks at the Columbus stop. The weather was pretty bad so that may have kept people away to some extent. I saw about 10-15 cyclists, I think.

    I don't know why they're in Mount Vernon. It looks like they're just following US-36. Given tomorrow's start point of Dennison it makes sense, but my information was that they were going to Elizabethtown (which I thought was out of the way for getting to Dennison, myself!). The route they're taking, which was northeast out of Columbus past Sunbury and up US-36 takes them directly to Dennison.

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  3. Got some photos up on my blog and a little text. I'll put more of story up later. Nice to meet you yesterday.

    Joe

    http://thebestbikeblogever.blogspot.com/

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  4. Same here, Joe! Sounds like it was a good hard ride yesterday, glad you were able to ride with him a ways! I put your link on my next post, the one with the pictures I took.

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