<
>

Man pedals way into Guinness Book of World Records

1/15/2007

BURR RIDGE, Ill. -- George Hood, who hoped to pedal his way
into the Guinness Book of World Records, got his wish Saturday
night.

The 49-year-old Aurora resident began riding a stationary bike
at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge at 4 a.m. Wednesday
and surpassed the previous record of 82 hours by 8:28 p.m.
Saturday. He stopped several minutes before midnight after
completing his goal of 85 hours.

"He's very grateful -- and very tired," said Matt Baron, a
spokesman for Five Seasons.

Baron said Hood was talking and thanking his supporters right up
to the end, but was taken by paramedics to Adventist Hinsdale
Hospital as a precaution after he got off the bike.

"He'll be under observation for a while, and they're going to
administer fluids," Baron said.

The current record of 82 hours was set last year by Brian
Overkaer of Denmark.

Getting the accomplishment by the Drug Enforcement
Administration supervisor into the Guinness Book may take several
weeks as officials need to certify the record, Baron said.

As Hood was nearing the 82nd hour -- and had spun more than 1,000
miles -- he sped up.

The 23-year federal law enforcement veteran had been averaging
about 12.7 miles per hour. Coming down the final stretch, he cycled
at 13.5 miles per hour.

About 200 people gathered at the club to cheer him on.

Hood hopes the feat will help raise thousands of dollars for the
Illinois chapter of COPS, an organization that helps the families
of slain police officers. Illinois COPS president Jennifer Morales
has said Hood could be the largest single fundraiser the local
group has had.

Baron said Hood raised $25,000 for the group -- $5,000 more than
his set goal.