Monday, April 27, 2009

Mr. Geek's Wild Ride

AbFab and Mr. Geek are wild and rabid Amazing Race Fans. In fact maybe you remember their adventure on their private Amazing Race. When I read that Phil Keoghan, host of the Amazing Race was riding across America, I immediately began thinking of a way to intersect with his path. We live smack dab in the middle of the country, but Phil was taking a more northern route through Chicago (to be able to ride with the MS150 in Chicago).
The week that Phil would be the closest to where we live was the final week of classes for AbFab. Therefore it was decided, this was to be Mr. Geek's Adventure.

Using maps and the information on the official webpage, (we were not stalking, I swear) Mr. Geek was able to determine which Motel that the group would be staying at and made reservations there.

As soon as Phil arrived at the motel he got off his bike (even after riding over 100 miles) and posed with everyone for pictures and talked to everyone there.

The next day began the Amazing Adventure (yes I am using the wording amazing over and over, I am just that kind of dork.) After the send off in Rochelle, the group headed toward Chicago. Sometime around lunchtime, Mr. Geek called me. "Quick can you look on the website and see where everyone is?" You see on the official webpage there is a realtime GPS tracker and when it works, you can see down to the block where Phil and the group are riding (I am NOT a stalker, I told you that.)

Mr. Geek had fallen a bit behind the pace and before he knew it, the group was out of sight. We had planned for this possibility (we are engineers, that is what we do) and Mr. Geek had planned to circle back to his truck and come on home. However, that morning he had decided to let the Airstream carry his backpack for him. The Airstream trailer is pulled by Phil's Dad and is the support during the ride. Now it contained Mr. Geek's backpack, which contained everything he had brought with him, including the keys to his truck.

I was driving when he called and not next to my laptop so I wasn't able to immediately look on the webpage. I continued to my destination (I was going to get my haircut, thanks for asking) and asked if I could use the WiFi there. There was no WiFi, but they offered my use of the company laptop. (Thanks John!) At this time the GPS unit was not reading real time and I could only tell him it looked like they stayed on the same route. "You should keep going." I said.

After my hair cut, I went to the Bread Company to use their free WiFi. I decided I would send a facebook message with Mr. Geek's cell phone number, with the hopes that someone might be online and get the phone number to someone with the Airstream. After I sent the message, I tried one more time to see if the GPS tracker was working and it had been updated and it looked like they were stopped for lunch.

I called Mr. Geek again, "It looked like they are only two miles ahead of you. You are almost there." A bit later, I zoomed in on the map to look closer at the location. It looked like they were a few blocks off of the main road. I called Mr. Geek again, "Turn right at 5th street. They should be right there." And there they were and Mr. Geek was reunited with the group.

This is where the best part of the ride happened - in my opinion at least. Mr. Geek called me and handed the phone to Phil. Right there in the middle of the Bread Co. I sat on my cell phone and talked to Phil Koeghan. Seriously, how cool was that. I wish I could say I was witty, but mostly I sounded like a big dork, a big happy dork though. Thanks Phil, you made my day!

Here is Phil talking to me on the phone. (Mr. Geek was also a dork taking pictures.)

So the group began the final leg of the ride into Chicago. What? You say you want to see Mr. Geek and Phil riding together. Well you are in luck. Go to here and click on the daily blog. Watch Day27. About halfway through when Phil is talking about the potholes in the pavement, a bike rider in a blue jacket points to a hole in the road. That rider in the blue jacket is Mr. Geek.

When the group reached Chicago, the roads became more and more dangerous as rush hour was approaching. It was decided that the final few miles would be better covered by car- Don't worry Phil had logged in some extra miles earlier in the ride to keep the final miles covered honest. Mr. Geek asked someone nearby for directions to the nearest Metro train station. The plan, remember, was for him to catch an Amtrak train and ride it back to his truck. However he was offered a ride in the van with the gang. So Mr. Geek's wild ride ended seated in a van pulling an Airstream through downtown Chicago with the entire entourage. Yes, it was an amazing ride.


Anonymous said...

By the way I sat next to Phil on the way into downtown Chicago. He is really a genuine guy and a great family man. You can tell by the relationship that he has with his Dad and the crew on the trip. He also phoned home as soon as he was able to in the van.

Mr. Geek

Elizabeth said...

Oh, how cool! I'm so excited for you, Mr. Geek! And you too, AbFab! You got to TALK to Phil. Sweet!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

That's AMAZING! Really! STM and I are big fans of that show, too!

Bina said...

Wow! That is so very cool! But Robin, that Phil is one good looking man. I can't believe you didn't go! LOL

Michelle O'Neil said...

What a wonderful adventure! I love how you root for your geek and help him from afar with the technology at your disposal. And I LOVE that you kept your hair cut appt. Priorities, baby.

Work it, Mr. Geek!