A former Uber driver is visiting all 50 U.S. state capitals – on a bicycle.
Bob Barnes, 52, from Syracuse, New York, started his trip, which he’s calling the “Great American Triple Switchback,” on Aug. 1, 2021, and is hoping to finish the trip in one year, he told Fox News Digital.
As of Thursday afternoon, Barnes had cycled 7,900 miles and had visited 26 capitals and Washington, D.C.
“It’s awesome to be out here and just have all these experiences and every single little town, every state,” Barnes said.
Barnes said he decided to go on the trip for several reasons, including bringing awareness to blood donation and pushing himself to complete the personal challenge of cycling to all 50 state capitals.
He said he also wanted to see what the country is actually like.
“I call it ‘real reality,’” he told Fox. “As opposed to what’s on TV and the internet.”
“I do consider myself an adventurer,” he added. “I love to explore and I like to see things for myself.”
He said he was also inspired by a similar trip he took several years ago when he cycled about 5,800 miles throughout the country.
“I was awestruck, it was so eye-opening,” Barnes said. “I wanted to come back out here and do it again.”
He said his first trip was more of a mental challenge, but now he’s facing more physical obstacles.
“The weather’s been challenging,” he 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.”
Though his journey is about cycling to all 50 state capitals, Barnes has made sure to pay it forward along the way.
He said on Saturday he plans to donate blood for the third time since his trip started. And on Thanksgiving and Christmas, he volunteered in the cities he was visiting.
Barnes shares about his journey daily on his Facebook page, Bibbery Travels, where he posts pictures of every state capital and his other experiences along the way.
“I like to keep it very interactive,” he told Fox. “I like to keep it lighthearted.”
On his “Great American Triple Switchback” GoFundMe page – which helps him fund his journey – Barnes says his trip “is 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.
“Basically ‘we’ are touring the entire United States on a field trip and I am the guide,” he added.
Barnes told FOX Television Stations that he bikes 44 miles a day on average and camps in his tent overnight at truck stops and in parks.
Barnes explained to the outlet that he plans to bike to Juneau, Alaska, after taking a ferry from Canada. He’ll bike to Honolulu, Hawaii, after flying with his bike to the island, according to the outlet.
Barnes told Fox News Digital that his trip is basically just like cycling around a neighborhood.
“It’s everything you think it would be if you get on a bike and start pedaling around the country, that’s what it is,” Barnes said. “It’s just fascinating. It’s like a big neighborhood. … It’s just the country is the neighborhood.”
Barnes also said he hopes to inspire other people to follow their passions.
“I’d just like to point out to people to follow their dreams and follow their passion,” he said. “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.”