Read How This Fat Guy Conquers America by Riding a Bike Across the Continent

fat guy bike

40-year-old Eric Hites is a truly legendary person. He worked as a D.J., roadie, telemarketer, pizza delivery man and bartender. After that he found himself unemployed, collection agencies were on his tail, and his wife left him for another man in July, 2014. Meanwhile his weight reached 567 pounds. No, we haven’t misspelled the numbers – he really got that fat.


Photo credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

You think this is the disaster of life? Eric told himself he had a choice. He left Danville, Ind., where he had been living with his parents, and did something drastic to save his life and marriage. The great idea came to him.

This guy decided to pedal more than 3,000 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific. He wanted to see the country, lose some pounds, get a book deal out of it and show the woman he loved that he could change.

In March he bought a used Mongoose mountain bike for $17. When he took it for a test drive, he was out of breath after 100 yards due to his weight and heavy smoking. Eric started exercising.

Also he created a blog called Fat Guy Across America, and set up a GoFundMeaccount to raise money for his epic plan (the balance now stands at $11,447 with donations from 383 people).

In June his father wept when he dropped his son off at the side of a road. Mr. Hites had $200. The journey started!


Photo credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

Four months later Mr. Hites reached New York. He grew famous! He had more than 25,000 Facebook followers! At Times Square he took selfies among walking tourists and with the Naked Cowboy, who composed a song in his honor on the spot.

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During his New York stop, Mr. Hites faced a lot of reporters and photographers. “People think I was trying to get famous from it,” he said. “This was an accident, really.”


Photo credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

By the way, his wife returned to him.

“I knew I would get her back,” Mr. Hites said. “As soon as she got a call from me in Martha’s Vineyard, she’s going, ‘Really?’ So that’s when I suckered her back in, and I’ve been conning her ever since.”


Photo credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 20, Angie, 37, was waiting for him at the wheel of a red Pontiac Grand Prix parked near a fire hydrant on 176th Street in Bronx. They rekindled their love!

“We find out where his next resting site is going to be, and that’s where I meet him,” she said in the parked car. “Section by section, we will take America, you know?”


Photo credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

There is no doubt that Mr. Hites – a man on a plain bike, but with huge ambitions – will conquer whole America. Oh, wait… He’s already doing it!

He’s really up to improving his physical state. Once his wife said “His bones are super-duper dense,” she said. “He’s just an ox. He’s a huge bear. Kids climb all over him.” And now they together plan his improvement with specialists: “The doctor told us: ‘Don’t do both at once. Either lose weight or quit smoking,’ ” she said. “And we were like, ‘Nope, we’re going to do both.’ ”

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But the most important about this whole adventure are the inner changes and support from people around: “I had kids yelling at me, ‘You can do it,’ and I’m going, ‘You don’t even know who I am, but thank you.’ People see that I’m a big guy riding a bicycle, and you’re either going to get a laugh or support. Usually, I get the support.”

You’ve got our support, too, Mr. Hites. Go for it!

Source: Nytimes

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