After a series of dead-end jobs, a major weight gain, and a failing marriage, Eric Hites knew it was time for a change.
Now, the 40-year-old Indiana native is making headlines as he bikes his way from Massachusetts to California. He started the trip in June and is steadily making his way west.
“There are a lot of naysayers out there and I am going to prove them wrong,” Hites writes on his blog.
Keep reading to learn more about Hites and “Fat Guy Across America.”
Eric Hites, 40, is biking his way across America and sharing his experiences along the road on his blog 'Fat Guy Across America.'
He was inspired by the Proclaimers song '500 Miles,' but since his weight, around 560 pounds, prohibited him from actually walking such a distance, Hites decided to bike instead.
'By completing this ride, I hope to encourage others to get up and get moving no matter their weight,' Hites writes on his blog. 'I have a lot to prove and a lot to make happen.'
Hites hopes riding across the country will not only help him lose weight but also enable him to win back his estranged wife, Angie Marie Atterbury, who left him in 2014 and moved in with another man.
Over the next few months, Hites slowly made his way towards New York City. It took him four months to bike from Massachusetts to New York City, since he can only bikes five to 10 miles a day.
He ran into a few road blocks along the way. In Dartmouth, Massachusetts, somebody called the cops after seeing Hites sitting on the side of the road. They thought he was having a heart attack, Hites wrote in his blog.
Luckily, news of Hites' journey had begun to spread. After hearing about 'Fat Guy Across America,' a sports shop gave him a new bike for free.
As Hites and 'Fat Guy Across America' continued to gain fame, people offered him meals and places to stay along the route. He's also accepting GoFundMe donations to keep him 'fed and dry.'
He's even discussing a possible television show and plans on writing a book after the ride is over, the New York Times reports.
Since June, he's lost about 70 pounds and is slowly increasing his daily mileage, the New York Times also reports.
And he and his wife are working on their relationship. Angie Marie joined him on the road in Rhode Island. She's currently using her maiden name and says she won't go back to using Hites until they reach California.
After reportedly passing out from heatstroke and a panic attack, she was advised not to bike the entire route.
'A lot of people don't understand the trip is not just a cycling trip,' Hites told the New York Times. 'We're seeing the sights while we're doing it. That's why I'm not rushing straight across, in a straight line.'
Hites says he's faced a fair share of critics too. Some people don't believe he's actually biking the miles he claims, and is just scamming people for money.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.