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A New York man who has been cycling to all 50 U.S. state capitals has revealed that no matter where you go in the country, you’re likely to run across one thing: churches.
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Bob Barnes, 52, of Syracuse, New York, told Fox News Digital about his realization after he recently visited his 33rd capital, Columbia, South Carolina.
‘Different kind of energy’
Bicycling from the Peach State to the Palmetto State, Barnes said he felt an immediate change from the “beautiful, scenic” countryside of Georgia to more activity and recreation in South Carolina.
“As soon as you cross the bridge,” said Barnes, “it’s a different kind of energy.”
Upon arriving in South Carolina, he noticed boats, campers and an array of golf courses.
Barnes, who has said he enjoys cities, pointed out that he appreciated the change of pace, which lasted for him throughout the entire state.
“When you roll into a town like that … you just feel welcomed.”
“I definitely like the activity and the energy,” he said. “It was a nice change.”
Barnes attributed the “bustling” spirit to the University of South Carolina, located in the city of Columbia.
“It’s just swarming with college kids everywhere,” Barnes said.
“That was pretty cool.”
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Barnes also enjoyed the smaller, clean and colorful towns he went through in South Carolina.
“It’s very warming,” he added. “When you roll into a town like that … you just feel welcomed.”
Barnes also found South Carolina’s forests “very accommodating,” he said.
“You can just walk into the forest and you’ve got the pine needle floor, which is soft, and you set up camp, and you’re good to go.”
‘My third official wreck on this trip’
Barnes, who previously experienced a dangerous close call biking on Georgia roads, did have one mishap while in South Carolina.
On one of the state’s “dirt” roads, he turned a corner — and the dirt on the road turned into sand.
“I just went down,” Barnes said. “That was my third official wreck on this trip, where I actually went down, where I actually landed on the ground.”
“South Carolina’s very sandy,” he added. “Sand is the mortal enemy of a cyclist.”
Barnes said the sand was at least a soft landing — and he was able to get up quickly and move on his way.
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Aside from his fall, Barnes said the cycle through South Carolina was “pretty uneventful.”
“You can go anywhere in this country, you’re going to see a church. It’s fascinating.”
“When I say uneventful, it’s always a good thing because nothing bad happened,” Barnes said.
“So I’ll take uneventful because we’re still making our way.”
You’ll see a church anywhere you go
As with some of the previous states he visited, South Carolina explains a lot of its history on plaques throughout the state, which Barnes started to look forward to, he said.
“Everywhere you roll into, there are the signs and things like that,” Barnes said. “The history’s nice to follow up on and read as I go along. I’m actually learning stuff. It’s pretty cool,” he added.
Barnes also revealed his discovery of numerous churches during his American journey so far.
“You can go anywhere in this country, you’re going to see a church,” Barnes said. “It’s fascinating. All over this entire country.”
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“They change — like in the South, we’re at a Baptist church,” he continued. “In the North, it’ll be something else.”
Although Barnes explained he’s not a religious person, he also said, “I appreciate churches.”
Next stop: West Virginia
Barnes is now headed through two states he already visited — North Carolina and Virginia — as he makes his way to capital number 34 for him: Charleston, West Virginia.
Stay tuned for more of his “biking across America” adventures!
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Fox News Digital has been following Barnes’ journey across America and detailing 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 US reveals ‘close call’ in Georgia as he reaches 10K-mile mark
NY man cycling to all 50 states reaches Florida, loses 30 pounds, inspires others
New York man biking across US ‘literally feels’ Alabama’s rich history: ‘You get the shivers’