North Brunswick man braves the cold to ride 80-mph roller coaster at Great Adventure


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NORTH BRUNSWICK – A young man is continuing his crazy ventures at the Great Adventure theme park.

Nick Cromwell, who rode the Kingda Ka roller coaster 60 times on Aug. 29, participated in Six Flags’s recent Polar Challenge on Dec. 7, riding the Nitro roller coaster while dressed in summer attire.

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According to information provided by Great Adventure, thrill seekers from nine different states and Canada took part in the park’s first Polar Coaster Challenge, named after the meteorological term for dramatically fluctuating temperatures expected for this winter.

The Polar Coaster Challenge dared guests to ride the 80-mph, 230-foot-tall Nitro coaster during a temperature of 37 degrees around 11:45 a.m., which had a wind chill (feel-like) temperature of 17 degrees at the first turn, according to meteorologist Dan Zarrow, who also participated in the challenge.

“I just wanted to do more crazy things and add it to the list,” the North Brunswick resident said in an interview.

With the youngest rider at age 8 and the oldest at age 65, 348 guests chanted “Nitro” and then proceeded to climb aboard the roller coaster as part of Holiday in the Park, an annual festival which transforms Six Flags Great Adventure into a winter wonderland with more than a million glittering lights, festive food and holiday entertainment in addition to its thrill rides, according to the statement. Holiday in the Park operates weekends and select days through Jan. 1.

Cromwell said he arrived at 10:45 a.m., and rode three times total until about 1 p.m., wearing cargo shorts and his signature “Bandana Guy” short sleeve tee with the sleeves rolled up.

“It was very windy,” said the 20-year-old graduate of Middlesex County Vo-Tech in East Brunswick. “After I got off I said to myself, ‘I did Kingda Ka 60 times, I can do this again.'”
Cromwell said he has never done a polar challenge before, though he tried once at Lake Wallenpaupack in Hawley, Pennsylvania, but he missed the registration. Now, he said he is inspired to try one at the Jersey Shore.
“It was definitely worth it. My Instagram got a few more followers and people are starting to ask me about merchandise for next year. It’s great to participate in events like this,” he said.
Although he had fun on Nitro, he is still partial to his current feat of getting into a world record book for “Most Times On A Roller Coaster in One Day” for his rides on Kingda Ka.
“I enjoy Nitro but nothing will ever compare my love for Kingda Ka,” Cromwell said. “It was crazy to do [the challenge] so I guess I just do things that are crazy. Nitro was my first big roller coaster at Six Flags when I was around eight. It was definitely a great time and when it’s freezing cold the ride seems a lot longer. Because I’m crazy, I’d love to have a Kingda Ka Polar Challenge. I’d do it 60 times in the freezing cold as well wearing summer clothes. Nothing stops me from riding Kingda Ka.”
For more information, visit @officialbandanaguy on Instagram.
Contact Jennifer Amato at

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