Meet Barney the Biking Bird & his friend Herb: "I get to make people laugh and smile; a nice thing"

NEW BERLIN -- If you know an avid cyclist, they can tell you a bike trail can be a lonely place. A New Berlin man who bikes to work nearly every day says it can be hard to strike up a conversation with people on the go.


"People really don’t talk a lot.  Usually you can’t get a smile or a 'hello' on the trail," says Herb.

A few years ago, Herb's life at home became a little lonelier as well.  His middle daughter recently moved to Honolulu.  With his house  empty, Herb and his wife decided they needed to fill their empty nest.

And thus, "Barney the Biking Bird" came to be.

"It turns out you can’t go to the bike store and order the parrot outfit," says Herb.

Herb's modified bike is turning heads!

Barney the Biking Bird

"I didn’t get Barney with the idea of biking with him," says Herb.

For three years, Herb has brought his new pet along on the trails after learning the yellow-naped amazon parrots need two to four hours of stimulation a day.

"If you look at me, you know that I need exercise.  So I thought, well…let‘s try putting the two together and see if it works," says Herb.

Barney the Biking Bird and Herb

Now inseparable, the pair has given their odometer a work out at 8,814.7 miles and counting!

"It’s kind of interesting. We thought we would be socializing him.  But really it socialized us," says Herb.

Try spending a day with the duo and you'll see it is hard to keep peddling with so many people wanting to say hello!

Barney the Biking Bird and Herb

Barney's biggest fans appear to be his youngest.

Barney's favorite thing to do is greet people with a "hello" -- but he can also be a babbler.

FOX6 News heard Barney whistle and speak as he greeted runners and fellow bikers.

Barney the Biking Bird and Herb

The pair also often leaves them with a gift.

"My daughters thought I should have a Facebook page, and I’ve never had a Facebook page. I thought 'no one is going to be interested in that!'" says Herb.

Herb and Barney hand out cards inviting people to connect online.  Barney has earned more than 6,500 likes and counting!

Those once cold trails just don't seem the same anymore.

Barney the Biking Bird

"If you can bring some smiles into the world for free? Not everyone can be Jay Leno, but I get to make people laugh and smile. That’s a nice thing" says Herb.

Herb may have built a bike to give Barney a bird's eye view of the world -- but instead, it has created a new perspective for the two of our community, through their friendship.

Barney the Biking Bird

CLICK HERE to access the "Barney the Biking Bird" Facebook page.