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Reality host cycles through county

May 04, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HALFWAY - Washington County had a cameo in a TV personality's cross-country bicycle ride on Monday.

Phil Keoghan, the host of the CBS reality show "The Amazing Race," stopped at Valley Mall Monday morning to start the next leg of his bicycle trip from Los Angeles to New York City.

He was in Washington County as his trip hit its final stages. He said he expects to be in New York on Thursday.

Through his ride, he's raising money and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, while also promoting bike riding and a food product called NOW One Square Meal bars.

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Keoghan said he was looking for an adventure he could tie into the meal bars, while also promoting his TV reality show, in which two-person teams compete as they travel around the world.

He said the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, with which he has worked before, got involved in his bike trip, too.

"All of the sudden, I'm biking across America, 3,500 miles, over a period of 40 days," Keoghan said.

Monday's itinerary had him riding from Washington County to Washington, D.C.

Keoghan was in Frostburg, Md., on Sunday, according to a daily schedule posted at www.philridesacrossamerica.com.

A bandage covered Keoghan's cheek as he prepared to depart from Valley Mall in the rain.

Asked how his ride has been, he said, "Wet. Tough."

"I've run into railway tracks," he continued. "I bent the railway tracks badly. No, I didn't really. They just bent my face, my hip, my ribs."

Keoghan said he also has encountered sandstorms and wind, and ended up in the hospital.

On his Web site, Keoghan invited people to ride with him.

Despite the rain, Brenda Keller of Hagerstown took him up on his offer on Monday.

"I'm thrilled to death," she said. "I love that show."

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