Ed. note: Since publication of this article, Eric Hites aka Fat Guy Across America has reopened his GoFundMe campaign to accept donations. He continues to request that followers donate to PayPal directly.
Concerned folks from around the world have been pestering us pretty much non-stop since the GoFraudMe Facebook page was born to cover this Fat Guy Across America dude. In case you don’t know, Eric Hites is — as he self-describes — a fat guy who wanted to win his wife back by biking across America.
In June of last year, Hites slapped up a GoFundMe page seeking $20k to support him in this journey.
Here’s what he wrote:
“All of my life I dreamt of having that one life-changing adventure that would set me on a course to achieve an extraordinary life. Now I’m doing it, and I want you to join me! I will be bicycling across America – traveling east coast to west coast — on a quest to rebuild my marriage and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the trip, I plan to visit interesting locations and to meet up with some amazing people. Along the way, I’ll be sharing all of the excitement, as well as the bumps in the road with my supporters through blogging and posting about my experience. The road will have it ups and downs, but together we’ll get there.”
So far so good, right? Well, maybe not.
Critics of Fat Guy say he sure has a lot of time on his hands to delete comments from his Facebook page when he’s supposed to be out there biking. And about that biking? Yeah, he’s not really making it across America. I mean, eventually.
Dr Phil grilled Fat Guy earlier this year and let’s just say it didn’t go well.
Critics say Fat Guy seems to eat a lot of junk food and laze around in motels quite a bit for someone who is supposedly on a cross-country journey to get healthy. Some, like this random dude on Facebook, basically tell him he’s full of shit to his face (if virtually).
One of Eric’s supporters — who also happens to follow us on Facebook — had the following to say in defense of Hites’ troubled journey:
“My view is he has put himself out there. He updates. He can take 10 years if he wants. If people want to contribute they can. He never has lied about the journey and his troubles. Like I said not well planned out but it is his journey and if people are not happy do not follow him.”
And that is certainly true, as he calls himself Fat Guy Across America not Fat Guy Across America in a Reasonable Amount of Time or Fat Guy Hustling Across America Quickly.
Now, back to the topic at hand, which is not Fat Guy nor his excessively slow journey but GoFundMe. In his final update to the Fat Guy GoFundMe page before closing it for donations, he cites harassment as his motivation for wrapping up the fundraiser.
Is Fat Guy Across America a fraud? As stated above, he is technically making his way across America, albeit slowly. According to Strava, he’s logged 769.5 miles this year so far.
It’s entirely possible he’s using the money for cigarettes and Twinkies, but it’s also possible that this unemployed, unhealthy Fat Guy is spending it on Motel 6 rooms and sturdy bike seats. Shit, it’s GoFundMe, he could be using the money for cocaine and deep fried banana and bacon sandwiches for all we know. Isn’t that the entire point of GoFundMe?
Any thoughts, feelings, experiences, and/or fond memories of Fat Guy welcome in the comments. Please refrain from fat shaming as this is a safe space, you thin privilege shitlords! Just kidding, do whatever the hell you want.