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Cycle Mania makes a comeback on Dec 7th, 2021 for the 40th Anniversary of the Auction

Most Recent Article about Cycle Mania in Laconia Daily Sun Nov 19,2021

Let's look back at 2007 when it all started! Photo courtesy of Alan MacRae

Halfway to history: Cycle Mania update

As of 1:05 yesterday afternoon, the two men working to break the world record for stationary cycling were at the halfway point and feeling good. However, according to the current record holder, they're just beginning to get to the point where the going gets tough.

Mike "Mad Dog" Gallagher of Gilford and John "Blue Dog" Jurczynski of Holderness are hoping to each break the current Guinness World Record of 111 hours, 11 minutes, and 11 consecutive seconds spent on a stationary cycle. They started in the early Monday morning, and expect to break the record shortly after 8 p.m. on Friday. The event, dubbed "Cycle Mania 2007" is taking place at the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club, where for the initial 48 hours the men were cycling in the lobby, and as of Wednesday morning they were moved to a studio filled with many other "spinners" — working on relay teams — who are also busy raising money for the 25th Annual WLNH Children's Auction.

Gallagher had a rough start, and Tuesday morning had to take a break. "I had to lie down for 40 minutes. I started feeling like I had a stomach bug all of a sudden."

Guinness's rules for this record allow the cyclists to take breaks, five minutes of break time per hour of time spend on the stationary bike. After taking some anti-nausea medication, Gallagher recovered in time and was back in the saddle before he used up his accumulated rest.

"I feel good," he said on Wednesday afternoon, although he admitted to being "definitely worried" about feeling so bad so early into the event. "It took me a few hours to get through it, but I did."

Their biggest concern is battling sleep deprivation and managing their nutrition and hydration. They frequently shift riding positions, from sitting straight to leaning forward and then standing on the pedals, all to keep their muscles loose.

Fortunately for them, they've got the room full of relay cycle teams spinning along with them and an omnipresent team of official witnesses and medical support staff, as well as a stream of well-wishers and encouragers passing through the club. "If we didn't have all these people, forget it," Gallagher said.

Gallagher added, "I just want to thank everyone that's being so supportive, working at the auction, volunteering here or contributing to our cause."

"And a latté every now and then is pretty good, too," said Jurczynski, Whole milk, he specified.

Another great concern is boredom. One of the methods they have to keep themselves entertained is that large-screen television that alternates between broadcasts of the auction on Lakes Region Public Access and movies on DVD. So far they've seen some family-friendly comedies, such as "Wild Hogs," and a horror film, "1408," based on a Stephen King novel. Jurczynski said that genre isn't usually his cup of tea, but he's glad they watched it. "I don't usually like it, but it works well to keep you awake."

If things get bad, Jurczynksi has the entire collection of "Seinfeld" episodes on DVD for emergency reserve.

George Hood, of Aurora, Illinois, who set the current record, completing his spin on July 14 earlier this year. He wasn't aware of the run for his mark until contacted by The Laconia Daily Sun. "I applaud their efforts," he said last evening. His record-breaking benefitted the Kiwanis Club, and he was glad to hear that Gallagher and Jurczynski's event is also a fundraiser for non-profit organizations.

"There's something about that desire to achieve, and to do it in conjunction with a fundraiser, they're doing it right," Hood said. "I'm emotionally energized because they're attempting this with the best of hearts…We continue to inspire each other to do our best."

The current record-holder's experience saw the biggest challenge being the sleep deprivation that sets in after two full days of cycling. "Once you cross 48 [hours] and get into 50, you're in no-man's land." For Hood, his sleep deprivation manifested itself by poor temperament.

The second greatest challenge Hood found was the physical discomfort of sitting on a bicycle seat for five days. He said it took him several days before his rear-end was back to normal.

Hood said the Guinness record checkers are very keen to scrutinize paperwork and evidence to ensure the validity of the attempt. "Make sure they cross their 't's and dot their 'i's."

The Laconia Athletic and Swim Club is open to the public around the clock for the duration Cycle Mania 2007.

After spending nearly five days, almost around the clock, on a stationary cycle. John Jurczynski of Holderness, a.k.a "Blue Dog," knew yesterday that he'd be spending his Monday evening, where else — on a stationary cycle. This time, he did it knowing he is one of the two men who beat the current Guinness World Record for stationary cycling longer than anyone else ever has.

The other man, Mike "Mad Dog" Gallagher of Gilford is not quite as eager to get back on the stationary saddle. "The saddle sores I had by Friday morning…I was in a world of hurt," he said.

After a two-night stay at the Inns at Mils Falls, the saddle sores had subsided, and Gallagher was feeling "fine. I feel alright. More than anything I'm just psyched about what we've accomplished."

Last week, in case you missed it, Jurczynski and Gallagher started pedaling at 5:05 a.m. at the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club on the morning of Monday, Dec. 10, and were still "spinning" into the evening on Friday, Dec. 14. By the time they stopped — simultaneously — they had been on the cycles for 113 hours, breaking the previous record of 111 hours, 11 minutes and 11 seconds set by George Hood of Illinois earlier this year. The extensive documentation — including video of the event and signed statements from all the witnesses — is being compiled and organized, and will be sent to the Guinness headquarters in London.

This was the 5th Annual Cycle Mania event, and the first one was the brainchild of Gallagher and Tom Oakley, who co-owns the athletic club. They started it as a 12-hour cycle event to benefit the WLNH Children's Auction, which also ran last week. The auction raised a total of about $235,000 this year, and $34,000 came from funds raised at Cycle Mania.

While he was proud to have raised so much for the auction, and proud to have reached their endurance goal, Gallagher said it was a bittersweet moment when he got off the bike and left the celebration of the event. "It hit me really hard when I was leaving the gym Friday night: this is it."

This was the most ambitious Cycle Mania event held at the club, and Gallagher and Oakley have both stated that it will be the last. After all, where can they take the event now, after setting a new world record?

"I can't believe what we've done in the past five years. I can't frigging believe it," Gallagher said.

Oakley said the club will do some sort of around-the-clock fitness challenge event in conjunction with the Children's Auction next year, but exactly what it will be is still undecided. Whatever it is, it will likely be some sort of event that incorporates more of the club's amenities than just stationary cycles.

The final Cycle Mania saw plenty of ups and downs in the five days of spinning. Gallagher was the first of the two to trip up, on Tuesday. He was still in the first half of the test, but suddenly felt as if he had contracted a "stomach bug."

Guinness's rules for the event allow the cyclists to earn five minutes of rest for each hour of cycling, and cyclists can accumulate that rest. Fortunately for Gallagher, he had plenty of time in reserve. He took a power nap, and when he stood up to get back on the bike, his body said "no." So, he said, he had to lie back down and find a reason to push onward.

"That was the mental tests of all tests," he said. He asked himself why he was doing this to himself and his body. The answer: "I'm doing this for the auction and the community. I'm doing this for those who can't." The auction primarily benefits children who grow up in bleak economic situations, as Gallagher did. After taking some anti-nausea medication, he got back on the bike.

That would only be the first test of the duo's endurance.

On Thursday night, when Gallagher was returning to the bike after taking a bathroom break, he slipped when mounting the raised platform that their cycles were on, cutting open his knee. "Next thing I know, I'm pouring blood." A trip to the emergency room would have taken hours, disqualifying Gallagher's effort. Fortunately for him, a friend of his, Mirno Pasquali, was working out at the gym at the time. Pasquali is a doctor, and he was able to give Gallagher stitches and had him pedaling again in a matter of minutes.

After that, everybody asked him how his leg felt. It might have been a dramatic injury, but it wasn't the greatest discomfort. "My ass hurts, too, you know," he said.

After that, Gallagher said he was thinking, "What the hell else is going to happen to me?" He was about to find out.

The greatest test test came hours later, at about 2 a.m. on Friday morning, only a relatively short time away from breaking the barrier. This time, it was Jurczynski that faltered.

The sleep deprivation is the greatest challenge to this event, and it makes one irritable and liable to become angry over things that would normally be shrugged off. For Jurczynski, this manifested after a conversation with a family member that entailed a "very mild disagreement." This conflict stayed with him and grew as his sleep deprivation worsened. "It really affected my whole body," he said.

By the early hours of Friday, Jurczynski was visibly struggling and not looking like his unflappable self.

"He looked at me, I don't think he knew who I was," Gallagher said.

Jurzcyski got off the bike and took a nap, and was able to continue. Almost the same time, Gallagher started to really struggle, too, and also had to take a break. The two, although both competing for an individual record, had bonded enough that they encouraged each other and saw to it that they both continued.

"We both hit that wall, we both went through it...If it was just myself, I don't think I could've done it."

George Hood, who owns the 111:11:11 record, is a recently-retired Drug Enforcement Agency special agent who said he has enjoyed calling himself calling himself a Guinness World Record holder, but was excited to hear about Cycle Mania 2007 all the same. He saw kindred spirits in Gallagher and Jurczynski, because he, too, used his ability to perform endurance feats as a means to raise funds for non-profits. "There's a lot of pride in it, those of us who inspire others to achieve their best. We use it to inspire others to donate, and if we can get them in the door to do that, then we've accomplished a two-fold purpose."

Even if Hood one-ups the local spinning legends, and takes back the spinning crown, they'll still have accomplished what they set out to do: raise money for a good cause. "We really didn't do this for the world record; we did this for the fundraising and the training." said Jurczynski. "Blue Dog" plans to participate in the Race Across America (from California to New Jersey) in 2009, so he said it would "make sense" to hold another marathon cycling session a year from now as preparation for that event. Jurczynski has a website that chronicles his feats of endurance. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat," he said.

Will Hood seek to regain the record? "I can neither confirm nor deny," he said. One could almost hear a stationary cycle spinning in the background.

To the editor,

On December 10, over 650 customers of Patrick’s Pub & Eatery participated in the first ever “Pub Mania” in support of the WLNH Children’s Auction. Inspired by ‘Mad Dog’ Mike Gallagher and the Laconia Athletic & Swim Club’s "Cycle Mania", "Pub Mania" was billed as a “24-hour barstool challenge”.

For 24 continuous hours beginning at 11 am on Thursday, December 10, Patrick’s reserved 27 barstools for this event. Team captains volunteered and committed to filling a team of 24 participants (1 person per hour) and raising a minimum of $1,000. Patrick’s, along with event sponsors, local businesses and area musicians provided the team members with food, beverage, entertainment, special guests, fun games and activities for 24 hours. Funds raised via teams, sponsorships and T-shirt sales were passed directly to the Children’s Auction. In addition, Patrick’s donated 20-percent of their gross sales for the day.

We were all thrilled to present a check for $47,000 to the WLNH Children’s Auction!

Teams competed for special honors including “Most Money Raised” and “Outstanding Team Performance”. Laconia Athletic & Swim Club and Steve Smith & Friends were the two teams tied for the most funds raised, with each team raising over $3,700. In addition, Milligan’s Island (Daniels Electric) and The Spinners (Meineke Muffler) raised over $2,400. “It’s Good to be King” team, captained by Judi and Butch Taggart, captured the “Outstanding Team Performance” award. Teams earning “honorable mention” include Team LMS (Laconia Middle School) captained by Brian Connelly, Streetcar Company captained by John and Linda Shelley, Gilford Professional Firefighters captained by Scott Mooney and LASC, captained by Tom Oakley.

In addition to the teams mentioned above, we would like to thank and acknowledge the remaining teams and team captains for their spirit and enthusiasm: Lahey Landscaping with captains Janet Mckone and Katie Whitney; Sherkanowski Drywall and captains Chris and Heidi Sherkanowski; Coldwell Banker and captain Shawn Bailey; Patrick’s Pub Bitchin’ Kitchen Crew and captain Stephanie Kirk; The Stool Pigeons and captain Brian Beetle; Amoskeag Distributors and captain John Valliere; MC Cycles and captains Myles Chase and Mick Palmiter; the 2009 Auction Elves captained by Rocky Pembroke; NH Leathernecks MC and captain Ken Anderson; Gilford Home Center and captain Corey Lofblad; Trauma Team and captain Kyle Davis; Patrick’s Pub Bar Fly’s and captain Carol Haddock; Body Covers and captain Sarah Gray; Fratello’s and captain Chris McDonough; 19th Hole at LCC and captains Dan Wilkins and Todd Rollins; Patrick’s Pub and captain Pearl Coyman; The Yankees and captain Steven Glencross; Sitting Santa’s and captain Marcie Miller; Bar Hum Bugs and captain Patty Coates.

Sixteen hours of continuous live entertainment was provided at no cost by our musician friends as follows: Rewind Barbershop Quartet; Don ‘SEV’ Severance; Mike Bourgeois; Justin Jaymes; Jeff Lines; Eric Gagne & Resonant Soul; the Eric Grant Band; Greg Miner and the Rock-On Band; Rick Page, Paul Warnick and Paul Luff; Cody James and Relevation; Ken Anderson and Friends. In addition, we had special guest Miss Lakes Region Erica Millet helping raise money via 50/50 raffles, Mark Chamberlin of Game Time Trivia; Laurie Oakley leading Barstool Yoga (really!), and Bingo by Sarah of Bodycovers.

Food & Beverage sponsors and other local business sponsors included Drouin Home Builders, Laconia Refrigeration, CCI, Notso Costley Productions, O’Du’s Hair Salon, Gator Signs, US Foods, Sysco, Amoskeag Beverages, Woodstock Brewery, NH Distributors, Hannaford Supermarket, The Gourmet Food Barn and Pork-eez Pig Roast & BBQ. In addition, Body Covers Screen Printing & Embroidery designed and donated 150 T Shirts to the event.

Finally, we thank our staff at Patrick’s for handling the 24-hour production and keeping the participants well fed and happy. In particular, bartenders Katie Whitney, Chris Young and Janet McKone logged some long hours through the early morning. Referees Wendy Beetle, Jennifer Beetle and Jennifer Bailey went the full distance, setting the tone of the event for a full 24 hours and more!

To all of these people who helped to make this event such a fun time and a resounding success, we thank you. Your participation and generosity came together to make a huge difference here in our community.

Allan & Jeff Beetle, owners

Patrick's Pub & Eatery


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