TUPELO – After one long bicycle ride, Robert Fox has returned to the city of his birth less than half the man he was just eight months ago.
Fox arrived in Tupelo on Thursday after riding his bike from Seattle in search of a new start. By then he had covered more than 3,000 miles, crossed eight states and lost about 200 pounds.
When he started his trip Feb. 1, Fox was a robust 350 pounds. When he got to Tupelo, he weighed a shade under 150 pounds.
The 47-year-old Fox was born in Tupelo and had driven through once, but he had never lived here. That didn’t stop him from packing up his bike and homemade wagon and heading south – way south.
“I just decided I’d come back and give living in Tupelo a try,” said Fox. “I just packed up and left. The only transportation I have is my bike so that’s how I came. I packed my wagon and just hit the road.
“Things weren’t working for me there so I just decided to give Tupelo a try. I didn’t do it to lose weight or anything but when you ride that far on a bicycle then it’s bound to happen.”
With very little money, Fox camped out every night, but the self-proclaimed outdoorsman didn’t mind. People along the way provided him with food and money.
“I met some great people along the way,” said Fox. “People really helped me out and that made the trip more enjoyable for me. It was a long and hard trip but it was a good adventure.”
Fox said the hardest part of his trip came when he had to push his bike and wagon up mountains. And aside from a flat tire here and there, he said his trip went off without a hitch.
Now he plans on starting a new life in Tupelo. Fox is currently looking for work and says he can do almost any type of manual labor.
“I just rode 3,000 mile to get here, so I have no problem with doing hard work,” said Fox. “I’ve always heard how generous people in the south are, especially Mississippi, so I just wanted to come back and try to live out my life here. All I need is a chance and I feel like I have a great chance of making a life for my self right here where my life began.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DANZA JOHNSON / NEMS Daily Journal