Man rides his bike “Hell & Back”; says it was fun

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Karl Krueger will be the first person to go into the bicycling record books for riding his bike to hell and back.

While most of us have probably felt that way after a particularly ugly bike ride, 62-year-old Krueger is the first to ever finish the bike event called the “Hell & Back.”

All he had to do was ride his recumbent bicycle clear across South Dakota, turn around, and ride back. He finished the 824-mile endurance ride in just under 93 hours — 3 hours ahead of the cut off.

The Hell & Back is part of the Gut Check 212 endurance bike race across South Dakota, a fund raiser for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

The Gut Check 212 solo ride follows Highway 212 for 412 miles across South Dakota; Hell & Back doubles that distance by requiring a return trip.

Only one other cyclist started out with Krueger for the ride from Wyoming to Minnesota and back again, but he dropped out. The website describes the ride:

“For the truly sadistic. Start at whichever border you like, ride to the other one, turn around and come back.”

Although personal support vehicles are permitted and “highly recommended,” Krueger did the bike ride unassisted. He carried all of his own water, food and other essentials. Krueger told the local Ethan, S.D., newspaper:

“It was a lot of fun. Nobody had done the Hell & Back, so I thought I would give it a shot.”

The solo record-holder for the Gut Check 212 did the bike ride in 2008 in 22:45 hours; the female record is 45:45 hours, set this year.

Look for the third annual Gut Check 212 next year in August.

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