As the time to leave got closer, youth pastor Jerry Smith was feeling the nerves. However, as more people began to talk to him about his plans to bike more than 8,500 miles around the country, his confidence began to show.
"I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get it done," said Smith, 47.
For Smith, the battle with his weight began at age 23 when he worked for a candy company, but after topping out at more than 400 pounds, he decided it was time for a change.
"I decided to start losing weight and once I started losing weight, I decided I wanted to help people," said Smith. "I thought what if I rode my bike to the 25 fattest cities and said 'look, you can do something'."
Even as he began to get ready to leave, Sunday, for the 114-day trip, many friends and family were still in disbelief.
"We thought he wasn't going to do it until it kept getting closer and closer and he kept talking about it," said Jeremy Cole, Smith's friend. "He kept riding more and more and we thought hey, this guy must be serious."
Finally, after months of preparation and more than 130 pounds lost, Smith said goodbye to friends and family and headed for Detroit, his first destination.
"He feels that this is a calling the Lord has given him to do and he set out for this task to do it," said Gerald Smith, Smith's father.
Smith says he still has not raised the necessary money to complete the trip and that anyone who wishes to donate can visit his Facebook page, 2012 Catch On Tour.