A ‘fat guy’ bikes across America

9:45 a.m. – Edited to add information

Photo: Eric Hites

It’s an old story — and a “must” read — that the New York Times pounced on today. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy loses job and balloons to nearly 600 pounds. Boy hears the Proclaimers’ hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” on the radio. Boy decides to bike across America to win girl’s heart back again. Boy gets girl. Maybe.

It’s the claim of Eric Hites of Indiana, who writes of his exploit on the blog, “Fat Guy Across America.”

His wife rejoined him in Rhode Island after she’d run off with another guy, he claims. She says she won’t use her married name again until he reaches the Pacific, and that’s not weird at all.

But since the Times story was published online yesterday (it’s in the printed edition today), things have taken a turn for the worse.

He had to take his wife to the ER yesterday with heart problems. She was released late last night and vows to be back on the road this morning. And the publicity is sparked more inspection of whether his story is true.

(Video link)

He sleeps in a tent at night and says his motivation is to show his wife he’s the man she married. But he says he wants to show himself something, too.

He’s lost 75 pounds so far. And gotten the girl. But this may be the slowest bike ride ever. He’s only made it to Jersey. Someone should tell him winter’s coming.

Not everything is adding up here. Hites says he wants to get a book deal out of his effort. In the video above, he talks about wanting to get more exposure for his story. But when he pulled into New York, he claimed to be surprised by the media attention and says he found it “weird”.