Crash and Burn?

Wheel full 70pxIt sounds like this guy’s ride across the country [linkie]

is toast, if I’m interpreting his most recent webcast [linkie] correctly.  It looks like Eric Hites is back in Indiana with his wife, his dog, his RV and his bike after spending over $15,000 of other peoples’ money saying that he was “riding across America” for the past year.  The comments folks left him on the webcast are, err… interesting, to say the least.

Wheel full 70pxI’m trying hard not to be judgmental, but Mr. Hites said at various times he was riding to “win back his wife (who had apparently left him for another man),” “get a new start to his life,” “lose weight (he started at over 500 pounds/`225 kg),” “find religion,” “get material for a book,” along with a bunch of other reasons.  Never once, though, have I heard that he said he was doing it for the sheer joy of riding his bike a very long, long way.  Some call what he has been doing a scam [linkie – not for the faint of heart].  I just think the guy never set his priorities in line with what he was ostensibly setting out to do.

Wheel full 70pxAnd he shouldn’t have expected to do it with other peoples’ money.

David Edgren

9 thoughts on “Crash and Burn?

  1. I saw your comment before it was deleted. You are one of many who tried to reach out with reason and generosity only to be met with Eric’s attitude of entitlement and lack of resolve to do anything to better himself in any way. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who want nothing more than for Eric to lose weight and get healthy, and the generosity that they offer to him in help that he completely refuses because he has absolutely ZERO interest in getting healthy.

    I’ve been there. While my route in getting healthy was different (I weighed 320 lbs eight years ago and had gastric bypass surgery. I’m now maintaining a 160 lbs loss to this day.) I reached out both to him and his wife several times only to be met with deletion and banning. They like to say they do that because “we don’t agree to do it your way, so you troll us” to anyone with tangible success who offers solid, reasonable, logical advice to them. They’ve had people in the biking community, the weight loss community, and just overall successful business people reach out to help – they’ve refused it all thinking and saying the know better. After a year at this, they’ve had zero success and are still begging for donations online to fund this complete failure of a trip. It’s mind-boggling.

    Sorry you were deleted, but know that people read your comments and appreciate your kindness and generosity and your spirit towards a healthy lifestyle!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi David,

    I saw your post on GOMI and read the comment that got you banned. The offer of a scale, while kind-hearted, is pointless: Eric has already been given two of them. The first mysteriously vanished after it failed to report anything positive, and the second has been the subject of constant whining as it “bounces around” and doesn’t give a reliable reading. The first was given to Eric by Destination XL (it had a hand-held reader) and the second came from Personal Trainer Foods. The capacity for each one was 550lbs but Eric was still not satisfied with their reliability, so they got ditched.

    By now you probably have a good understanding of what his motivations and limitations are. (Check out reddit.com/r/fgaa for some recaps you may have missed.) He simply cannot tell the truth. He even lies to himself to the point where truth and deceit get tangled together, and sometimes he’ll blurt out something that trips him up on a previous lie. Lately we’ve heard him say more and more “I have NO IDEA what I weigh. I don’t care!” (He’s “just not good with numbers”.) He sometimes adds “I just wanna riiide” as a way to make it seem like he cares about that, but you had it right in your post: he doesn’t. He hates it. That’s understandable, given his physical condition, but he should never have used riding a bike as a gimmick to amass tens of thousands of dollars, without having that essential internal fire for the task. He thinks he knows better than every single person he speaks to, and that’s unsettling to watch.

    From a quick skim of your recent posts, it’s abundantly clear that you are his polar opposite. Sure, you’re not carrying as much weight, but you will still have a hard time, at least at first. But you know that, you acknowledge it, and you’re preparing to accommodate it. You’re asking for advice and taking it on board. This is the kind of journey that Eric was trying to sell, but where yours is a plan built on a solid foundation of research and preparation, his story was nothing more than cardboard cutouts painted to look like a building. It’s disturbing that people still believe so much, based on so very little. It’s a long con and a short con at the same time: he depends on the illusion of progress he’s created so far, and on casual readers who aren’t following too closely, but it will all come crumbling down eventually.

    But enough about him. I wanted to congratulate you for everything you’ve carved out here so far. And for being self-funded! We seem to be a crowd-funding generation… and it’s not always bad, but as we’ve seen, it can get into extremely murky moral territory. Your writing is engaging and the kinds of topics you’ve included here are wide-ranging and interesting to read. I’m not worried about you at all. 🙂

    AND you’re ending your trip in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, so well done on that choice! That will be the sweetest sunset you’ve ever laid eyes on, for more reasons than its inherent beauty.

    I wish you all the very best in your endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

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