A former Uber driver is trading in his car for a bicycle as he travels to all 50 U.S. state capitals the old-fashioned way.
Bob Barnes of Syracuse, New York, launched his cross-country bike journey on Aug. 1, 2021, and aims to see all 50 capitals within one year, Fox News reports. He has already made it through 7,900 miles and 26 capitals plus Washington, D.C.
“I do consider myself an adventurer,” Barnes told Fox News Digital. “I love to explore and I like to see things for myself.”
Uber Driver Trying to Raise Awareness for Blood Donation
In addition to personal reasons, such as wanting to see what the country is like for himself, Barnes said he’s also biking to raise awareness for blood donation efforts. Last weekend he donated blood for the third time since he started his biking odyssey, and on Thanksgiving and Christmas, he volunteered in the cities he happened to be passing through.
Barnes’s journey, which he has dubbed “the Great American Triple Switchback” tour, has not been without its obstacles. The weather, for one.
“The weather’s been challenging,” Barnes said. “The mountains have been challenging. Once I got to Denver, all the way from Denver to California was windy and cold. But the experiences, it’s absolutely amazing.”
Barnes has been documenting his travels on his Facebook page, Bibbery Travels. He uploads pictures of each state capital and includes other tidbits about his experiences en route there. Barnes also has a GoFundMe page (titled “Great American Triple Switchback”) where he plugs his trip as “like a real reality show in real time.”
“My obligation is to report to ‘you the follower’ 3 times a day promptly showing and talking about what ‘we’ have seen. It’s a very lighthearted, fun and interactive experience,” Barnes wrote.
Barnes Hopes His Journey Inspires Others
When he’s done with the continental U.S., the former Uber driver also wants to bike to Juneau, Alaska by taking a ferry from Canada. And then he’ll fly to Honolulu, Hawaii with his bike to travel around the island.
Barnes bikes an average of 44 miles per day. When the sun sets, he camps in his tent overnight in parks or at truck stops.
And while that might not sound like a vacation to everyone, Barnes is adamant that he’s following his passion. He hopes his journey will inspire other people to do the same, whatever their passion might be.
“I’d just like to point out to people to follow their dreams and follow their passion,” Barnes added. “No matter what it is, don’t listen to other people. It’s your passion. And if that’s what’s going to make you happy, find an excuse to do it.”