Feel-Good Friday: 52-Year-Old Former Uber Driver Bikes Across America to Visit the State Capitals and 'Connect More With Society'

Former Uber driver Bob Barnes bicycles to state capitals. Credit: Screenshot, Fox 11 LA Video

When the co-author of the book project I am working on moved from the East Coast to the West Coast, he decided to drive across the country. He said he highly recommends everyone do this once in their life, because there is “no greater experience than seeing the country from the ground floor.”

I believe him, and it’s on my bucket list. Former Uber driver Bob Barnes decided it was his time to do it, but he decided to ditch the car and cross the country on a bike.

Thus begins this week’s Feel-Good Friday.

From Fox News LA:

Bob Barnes likes a challenge. He not only wanted to visit all 50 state capitals but wanted to get there on his bike.

The 52-year-old former Uber driver from Syracuse, New York, started his journey in August 2021, giving himself a year to finish. So far, he has visited 25 capitals plus Washington, D.C. He’s already tackled cities in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West.

He said he always heard of people traveling to all 50 states but decided to add a twist by cycling to all of America’s capital cities.

Barnes said he’s making the trip for several reasons, including wanting to connect more with society.

“I wanted to get out here and see what’s going on for myself,” he told FOX Television Stations from West, Texas. “I call it ‘real reality’ not what we see on T.V. or the internet.”

I believe everyone who lives in the coastal cities needs to take the ground floor route to cross the country. Much of New York, Los Angeles, D.C., and other major metropolises think that anything outside of their bubble is populated by hicks, rubes, and Trump supporters. They pride themselves on being knowledgeable and educated, yet remain woefully ignorant of their fellow Americans, content to accept whatever is spoon fed to them on CNN and MSNBC.

So, Bravo to Mr. Barnes for choosing to make this trip, and add challenge, and a fun aspect to the journey.

“Everybody out here is so kind,” he continued. “The random acts of kindness…just all the nice gestures. I don’t see any hatred anywhere. It’s just a complete, unbelievable experience.”

Barnes also desires to encourage people to donate blood. For obvious reasons, our country is experiencing a blood shortage. So when he can, Barnes donates blood at The Red Cross or a local hospital.

“If you have anything to give, you have a pint of blood to give,” he continued.

He shares his adventures on his Bibbery Travels Facebook page, and posted this from Dallas, Tex.

Day 181 Great American Triple Switchback evening post:
SB2 and I are 34.71 miles into our day with just 2 miles to go until our destination where we have a place to stay. I understand I’ll be taken out for dinner tonight which will feel great. A sense of normalcy. Actually the whole weekend should be “normal” but I’ll give more details in the morning.
Tomorrow at 2pm we donate blood in Plano TX. I’m dragging my friend Stacy there to donate also. 😉 If you haven’t donated in awhile now is the time.
Once SB2 and i got into downtown Dallas travel became easier. Bike lanes and such.
We scored at goodwill! I bought pants, shirt, shoes, and a belt for $21.61. This is some of the stuff donations go towards. These clothes will get me thru the weekend. Thank you!
At some point over the weekend I’ll do another video to explain the trip, logistics, goals, and equipment.
Be safe if you are in the Nor’easter tonight! See you in the morning…

Barnes bikes 44 miles a day, on average, and he camps overnight in his tent at truck stops and parks. When he arrives at the state’s capitol, he takes a picture—always the same pose (see the tweet above)—and then he moves on to the next state.

So far he said the most difficult parts of his journey were in Wyoming, where he faced strong winds, and in Arizona, where he had to bike through a winter storm.

Barnes also said he’s learned more about himself along the trip.

“I am stronger than I thought I was,” he explained. “Age is a number at this point.”

But what of our 49th and 50th states? Have they invented flotation bikes yet? I have no idea, but nothing is stopping Barnes from fulfilling his trek.

For Juneau, Alaska, Barnes plans to take a ferry from Canada and then bike to the city. For Honolulu, Hawaii, he plans to fly to the island then bike to the capital.

Easy peasy! Not really. Hats off to Barnes for not only his stamina and determination, but his idealism and belief in America.

Barnes still has 25 states to go, and accepts support for his trip on his GoFundMe page.