George Hood is at it again. Two years ago the Aurora resident broke the Guinness Book of World Record when he rode a stationary bike for 176 hours straight. Only to have that record was broken in Switzerland a few months later. But Hood is back to do it again.
For the next twelve and a half days, or three hundred hours, George Hood can be found in an empty building riding a stationary bike. For many, that ride may be impossible. But for Hood it’s just a way of once again setting the world record. Also, he is raising money for both injured marines and the Fox Valley United Way.
“There’s much more to it than riding a bike and setting a world record,” said Hood. “It’s about raising money for the right reasons and completing a journey that I’ve been on for three years now.
“Any funds that come to the Fox Valley United Way will be going to groups like the Boy Scouts, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girl Scouts, those kinds of groups,” said Mike Meyer, CEO of Fox Valley United Way.
When I first met up with Hood, he was eighteen hours in. But he’s not alone. Guinness’ rules state that at least two witnesses must be with Hood at all times. But in addition to being a witness, his “pit crew” as they call themselves, need to check his vitals and provide him with food, water, and support.
“He goes through phases where he’s very tired, of course, and I think my important role with him is to boost his morale and fire him up,” said Bob Scott, member of the George Hood Pit Crew.
Hood can’t dog it though; he must meet a quota of twelve miles every hour. If he travels that far he gets a five minute break, which he can add together to make a longer one.
“Any given break I’ll be lucky if I can get a 10 minute cat nap where I can simply lay on my back, prop my feet up and close my eyes and not go into a full sleep, but a different level of consciousness to relax, harness energy, and come back and ride,” said Hood.
Hood encourages supporters to come visit him while riding; you can even hop on a bike and ride along.
“It kind of helps pace him, because he has to do 12 miles an hour,” said Luann Stec, a Naperville resident. “So I can watch him and make sure he’s up to par. So it’s great, we have conversations and things like that. “
88 hours in and George is still going strong, singing and playing along with his music.
Hood plans to keep riding until he hits the 300 hour mark on Saturday April 24th. You can track George Hood’s progress live on his website or make a donation to his cause at ridegeorgeride.org.
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