Salisbury Center man hits 50,000 miles on ATV; helps people every mile along the way

A disabled man uses his ATV to get everywhere he needs to go and along the way, he helps others one mile at a time.

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 9:14 AM
Updated: Aug 20, 2018 2:32 PM

Salisbury Center, N.Y. - For much of his younger life, 79-year-old Ronald Barnes was a scuba diver, until 1990 when he was diving off of Long Island and came up too quickly. He ended up getting what's known as "the Bends."

"People just get it a little bit then they get better, it's called the Bends, decompression syndrome," Barnes said.

For Ronnie, as friends call him, it was too late to get him to a recompression chamber, so he has had permanent damage to his legs for the past 28 years.

The only way he gets around is by his 1985 Suzuki ATV. He just turned 50,000 miles on it.

"You cannot tell me anybody else that has 50,000 on an ATV," he said.

It's a milestone he is very proud of.

"I get on this, I don't feel like 79, I feel like a kid. I enjoy except for the bumps, you feel it."

Ronnie says the ATV takes him everywhere he needs to go and along his way, he collects cans. He's also known as The Can Man. So many people in this part of Herkimer County who see him on his ATV donate empty cans to him, not to help him live, but to help him give. Every nickel he collects, he donates to the St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

At 79, Ronnie lives alone and wants to maintain his independence, as he struggles to walk himself and his wheelchair up and down his ramp each day to get to his ATV.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2707049

Reported Deaths: 57343
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings34831910956
Queens32527210405
Suffolk2532123673
Nassau2243793326
Bronx2127096803
New York1757714661
Westchester1475492354
Erie1228872028
Monroe964171244
Richmond922471967
Orange61633944
Onondaga58795808
Rockland55201782
Dutchess37697507
Albany34056409
Oneida32768634
Niagara28265414
Broome27944432
Saratoga24180222
Schenectady19131243
Ulster18865288
Rensselaer17147192
Chautauqua14703189
Oswego13956132
Putnam13055101
Chemung12691174
St. Lawrence12634143
Steuben12268187
Ontario11499118
Jefferson11123105
Wayne10020101
Cattaraugus9824154
Cayuga9618112
Sullivan944390
Genesee8495143
Herkimer8165141
Clinton795346
Fulton7719109
Tompkins734161
Madison7246108
Warren713194
Livingston707975
Montgomery7073159
Washington652376
Tioga627473
Cortland604088
Allegany5896119
Columbia5617113
Chenango547995
Orleans539095
Franklin529125
Otsego527861
Wyoming519964
Greene487788
Delaware430151
Lewis414539
Seneca317167
Essex294637
Schoharie262324
Yates196733
Schuyler190020
Hamilton5103
Unassigned1422
Out of NY0336
Utica
Mostly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 29° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 19°
Oneonta
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 30° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 13°
Herkimer
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 19°
Old Forge
Mostly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 15°
Feels Like: 19°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New Deals Each Week
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve