Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

NY man who cycled across America settles down in this city: ‘Smoother transition than I thought’

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Bob Barnes, the man who cycled to all 50 U.S. state capitals in one year, is already planning his next journey. 

Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, New York, rode his bicycle a total of 16,661 miles across the country in 359 days. 

After following his journey, Fox News Digital spoke with Barnes this week, after he’d been back in Syracuse for about a month to see how he’s settled back into “normal” life.

“I’ve been terrific,” Barnes told Fox News Digital. “I’m settled and I feel great that I finished that trip. It actually sunk in and I feel fulfilled.”

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On Aug. 4, Barnes returned to Syracuse and immediately got back into a routine. 

“It was a smoother transition than I thought,” Barnes said. “I thought it might be tough mentally or whatever, but no.”

He said everything “just went really smoothly.”

Bob Barnes, the man who rode his bicycle to all 50 U.S. state capitals in one year, has settled back into life in Syracuse, N.Y. "It was a smoother transition than I thought."  

Bob Barnes, the man who rode his bicycle to all 50 U.S. state capitals in one year, has settled back into life in Syracuse, N.Y. “It was a smoother transition than I thought.”  
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Barnes got his car back on the road so he could return to work for Uber, which he did before he started his cross-country journey last year.

“I love driving, I love talking to people and I get my fix of exploring when I can Uber,” Barnes said. 

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Bob Barnes also stayed with his brother for a bit before settling into his own apartment in Syracuse, which he said “feels so good.”

“I didn’t realize how bad I was roughing it,” Barnes said of his living conditions on the trip. 

“Even just to have my own bathroom, it’s crazy … It’s nice to be civilized.”

Though Barnes had considered moving to another city after his trip, he has settled back into life in Syracuse, N.Y. 

Though Barnes had considered moving to another city after his trip, he has settled back into life in Syracuse, N.Y. 
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

While he was still on his trip, Barnes considered moving to another city, such as Cincinnati, Seattle or Portland — but after a month in Syracuse, Barnes is “unexpectedly excited” to be there. 

“I’m real happy in Syracuse right now,” he said.

FORMER UBER DRIVER BIKES TO ALL 50 STATE CAPITALS IN 1 YEAR

Aside from Ubering, Barnes is also volunteering at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

And yes, he’s still donating blood. 

"For right now, I'm just going to stay in Syracuse," Barnes told Fox News Digital. The Syracuse City Hall is pictured here.

“For right now, I’m just going to stay in Syracuse,” Barnes told Fox News Digital. The Syracuse City Hall is pictured here.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Bringing awareness to blood donation was one Barnes’ goals for his trip across America. 

Though he misses the road, Barnes said he’s already planning his next adventure, which he hopes to start in June or July of next year.

“The big thing is to avoid winter,” Barnes said. “I’m not being cold this time.”

Barnes returned to his job as an Uber drive, which he did before he left on his 16,661-mile bike trip. His car is pictured here.

Barnes returned to his job as an Uber drive, which he did before he left on his 16,661-mile bike trip. His car is pictured here.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

Barnes’ tentative plan is to ride his bicycle up through Michigan and over to Madison, Wisconsin, then swing back down South to the East Coast around North Carolina and ride down around the coast of Florida — before riding across the country to California. 

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He’s even considering riding down along the Baja Peninsula.

“I really, really enjoy planning and thinking it through,” Barnes said of his new trip. 

“And then I look forward to going back out there again, because I truly enjoy just being out there on my bike.”

Barnes said he’ll do a few things differently than he did on his previous trip. 

“I just miss the adventure, doing it every single day.”

He won’t bring a trailer and he plans to downsize his solar panel, which he used to charge his phone.

He just generally wants to pack lighter.

“Overall, I’m going to keep it pretty much the same, but try to improve on things,” Barnes said.

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A month after resettling in Syracuse, Barnes said he’s glad to have a break but still misses his cross-country trip.

“Even when it was bad weather and even when I burned down the tent [in Michigan], it was all part of the adventure,” Barnes said. 

“I just miss the adventure, doing it every single day.”

Aside from working for Uber, Barnes also volunteers at Upstate Medical University and has continued to donate blood.

Aside from working for Uber, Barnes also volunteers at Upstate Medical University and has continued to donate blood.
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

The things he’ll remember most, he said, are the highlights of the states, including that South Dakota was the friendliest state he visited and that Mississippi was his favorite.

When it comes to the country overall, Barnes said kindness is the standard in the U.S.

Even though he only just finished his cross-country trip, Barnes is already planning his next trip. He's pictured here in 2021. 

Even though he only just finished his cross-country trip, Barnes is already planning his next trip. He’s pictured here in 2021. 
(Courtesy Bob Barnes)

“Everybody’s so nice out there,” he said. “The entire country — it was just joyful.”

“The more I look back, the more I realize this was a big deal,” Barnes added of his trip. 

“I pedaled through all 50 capitals of the United States, nonstop. It was hard core.”

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

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’



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