Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

New York man cycling to all 50 states reaches Alaska and Hawaii: ‘What I just did was crazy’

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Bob Barnes, the man who had a mission to bicycle to all 50 U.S. state capitols in one year, finally completed his journey. 

Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, New York, reached his 49th capitol, Juneau, Alaska, on July 23, and his 50th capitol, Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 25. 

He began his journey on August 1, 2021 — and completed his goal with time to spare in advance of the one-year anniversary of the start of his adventure. 

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“I did it. It was amazing,” Barnes told Fox News Digital. 

“It was harder than I thought it was going to be as far as weather … but the route was the route. It worked out.”

The Last Frontier

After Barnes finished his journey through the Lower 48 states, he rode through Canada to Prince Rupert Harbor, where he caught a ferry that took him to Alaska. 

Bob Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, N.Y., who bicycled to all 50 state capitols in one year, reached his 49th capitol — Juneau, Alaska — on July 23, 2022.

Bob Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, N.Y., who bicycled to all 50 state capitols in one year, reached his 49th capitol — Juneau, Alaska — on July 23, 2022.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Barnes said he was relieved when he arrived in Alaska on July 23 for several reasons: the first was that motorists “drive pretty” recklessly in Canada, as he put it.

The other reason for his relief had to do with that country’s difficult history surrounding the Highway of Tears — a stretch of highway in British Columbia where many Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered. 

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“It made me appreciate the United States a little bit more,” Barnes said of his ride through Canada.

Though the two weeks leading up to the ferry to Alaska were “dramatic,” Barnes said the ferry ride itself was great. 

Bob Barnes of New York made it to the Alaska State capitol on July 23, 2022.

Bob Barnes of New York made it to the Alaska State capitol on July 23, 2022.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

As soon as the ferry docked in Juneau on July 23, Barnes rode his bicycle straight to the capitol building. 

What stood out to him the most about Alaska was “the weather and the terrain — the sparseness and the wilderness.”

In general, Barnes said Alaska — and Juneau in particular — had “great vibes.”

“It was mellow,” Barnes said. “It was wet and windy, but the vibe was awesome.”

Bob Barnes said he enjoyed the ferry ride to Alaska and that the state, known as the Last Frontier, has "great vibes."

Bob Barnes said he enjoyed the ferry ride to Alaska and that the state, known as the Last Frontier, has “great vibes.”
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Barnes departed for his last state, Hawaii, on July 25. 

To get to the Aloha State, Barnes had to box up his bike for the plane ride. 

First, however, he made sure to ride his bike to the airport before taking it to the bike shop where it was packed up. 

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Barnes said he felt like he had to bike to the airport to make sure it was a “purist ride.”

During the ferry ride from Canada to Juneau, Barnes saw a whale (pictured here). 

During the ferry ride from Canada to Juneau, Barnes saw a whale (pictured here). 
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

“I was so relieved that I did it,” Barnes said of cycling to the airport.

“That would have bugged me the rest of my life if I didn’t do that.”

He added, “It’d be like running a marathon and getting in a car for five miles and then getting back out.”

Barnes had to box up his bicycle to fly it from Alaska to Hawaii. Once he got to Hawaii, he had to unpack (pictured here) and reassemble it, so he could ride it to the capitol building.

Barnes had to box up his bicycle to fly it from Alaska to Hawaii. Once he got to Hawaii, he had to unpack (pictured here) and reassemble it, so he could ride it to the capitol building.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

The Aloha State

When Barnes arrived in Honolulu, he unpacked and reassembled his bike and rode it straight to the capitol building — just 5.5 miles away — which marked the end of his journey. 

As he has done in every state, Barnes photographed himself in front of the capitol building in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 25, 2022.

As he has done in every state, Barnes photographed himself in front of the capitol building in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 25, 2022.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

The next day, Barnes donated plasma for the first time ever. 

Later in the week, he donated platelets — which he’s done previously. 

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Barnes also did interviews with local outlets to bring awareness to the topic of blood donation — one of his main goals of his 50-state trip, he said.

Barnes donated plasma and platelets the day after he arrived in Hawaii, and made a platelet donation (pictured here) the day before he left. 

Barnes donated plasma and platelets the day after he arrived in Hawaii, and made a platelet donation (pictured here) the day before he left. 
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

“In my personal life, I’ll keep donating blood and whatnot, but that’s the end of the line for the trip,” Barnes said.

Barnes spent about a week in Honolulu.

There, he volunteered at a helmet giveaway hosted by the Hawaii Bicycling League — and he experienced the beaches. 

He also finally got to enjoy warm weather after months of riding in the cold. 

Bob Barnes of New York spent a week in Hawaii; he enjoyed the beaches and soaked up the warm weather.

Bob Barnes of New York spent a week in Hawaii; he enjoyed the beaches and soaked up the warm weather.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

“I finally got it,” Barnes said of the warm temperatures. 

“It’s a jackpot, with the weather.”

“I feel like I was only warm for like two months out of 12,” Barnes said of his trip before Hawaii.

Barnes said he hit the "jackpot" in Hawaii with its warm temperatures, especially the warm, 70-degree nights.

Barnes said he hit the “jackpot” in Hawaii with its warm temperatures, especially the warm, 70-degree nights.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Even while he was soaking up the warm weather in Hawaii, Barnes said he already missed the adventure.

“I feel like I should be more excited or happy than I am, but I want to do nothing more than to get back out there,” Barnes said. 

“I think that’s selfish, so I’ve got to watch myself.”

‘I feel incredible’ 

In total, Barnes cycled 16,661 miles in 359 days, from Aug. 1, 2021, through July 25, 2022, when he arrived in Honolulu. 

Even while he was still in Hawaii, Barnes said he already missed the trip and was ready to hit the road again soon. 

Even while he was still in Hawaii, Barnes said he already missed the trip and was ready to hit the road again soon. 
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

He flew back to Syracuse, New York, on Aug. 3, where he stayed with his brother for a bit before getting his own apartment and returning to his previous day job of driving for Uber.

“What I just did was crazy,” Barnes said while he was still in Hawaii. 

“I feel incredible that I had that opportunity to do that — and I did it as planned.”

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Fox News Digital has followed Barnes’ journey across America and detailed it for readers in this unique Lifestyle series. 

To catch up on — or enjoy once more! — his previous three trips before the one described here, read more below:

NY man cycling across America falls in love with these Pacific Northwest cities

NY man cycling to all 50 states describes Montana’s scenery as ‘spectacular’

NY man cycling across America names his friendliest state of all



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