The Familiar Story
Say you’re on a road trip, your stomach starts to grumble. You keep driving for a bit. Maybe the car needs gas, maybe your friends or, let’s say the kids in the back start saying they’re hungry too. The road sign, or the GPS, or the app on your phone tells you there are several places to eat at the next exit. So you leave the highway to find delicious sustenance in this town you’ve never seen and may never see again. You find what is most likely a chain restaurant (you can get the same thing you like to eat at home no matter where you go these days), and you get that tasty thing to satisfy you for awhile, but maybe it’s not as healthy a choice as you’d like. But this time it’s okay because you’re traveling and this doesn’t happen all the time. You’ll get back on track once you’re home again.
That sound at all familiar?
For some this is not just a once and awhile situation, for some people it’s a part of the regular work day, most days, at any and all odd hours. One such group of people for whom this is incredibly familiar are long haul truckers. To challenge this status quo and help an entire industry change the quality of lives for the better we’re doing one small thing, which is part of a larger movement.
September hosted the National Truck Drivers Appreciation and Wellness Week. Organizations and businesses associated with trucking are all upping the ante for driver health. On The Extreme Truckers Show from that week Travel Centers of America’s Tom Liutkus, VP Marketing, relayed the sad tale of being the one who receives the call when a driver is missing or has passed away on the road from a health issue. The trucking industry is making driver health a priority from meals, gyms at trucking depots and bases, and having fitness coaches on staff.
On the Radio
Montague Bikes and Prime, Inc. have partnered to use our folding bikes as part of this movement. We’ll be talking about this on the radio tonight, 11pm EST – Extreme Truckers is broadcasting live out of Nashville so the show is 10pm Central time. Or if you can’t tune in the show will be available online and on-demand tomorrow at www.blogtalkradio.com/extremetruckers.
Actual proof of truckers changing their lives with bicycles? Trucker triathletes competed this past weekend, their coach Mr. Baleka trains using a Montague Paratrooper! The news as relayed by Prime, Inc:
October 16, 2012 (Springfield, Mo.) – Driving tanker, flatbed, and refrigerated trailers, seven Prime drivers arrived in Anderson, SC to compete in the Revolution 3 Olympic distance triathlon relay and aquabike. The triathlon, which is sponsored by Pilot Flying J, consists of a .9 mile swim, a 24 mile bike, and a 6.2 mile run. Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness program entered two relay teams in which each driver did one leg of the triathlon. Jeff Schmid also competed in the aqua bike, doing both the swim and bike legs individually.
Matt Young, Jason Davis, and Matt Buchanan comprised the “Matt Sandwich” team that finished in 3:37:35. Diane Kehoe, Mario Abramson and David Calhoun comprised the “Prime Allstars” team that finished in 3:58:31. Jeff Schmid finished the aquabike in 2:36:13.
It was a tough go for swimmers Young and Kehoe. As long haul drivers, they had limited opportunity to train for the long swim, and neither had ever swam with a wetsuit, which they both conceded was “too tight”, forcing them to ditch the wetsuits during the swim. Displaying their “deliver the load at all costs” mentality, both completed the swim and handed off their timing chip to cyclists Davis and Abramson. Davis, a former professional BMX bicycle racer who is competing in this year’s BMX National Championships, had never rode a high performance triathlon bike, which was provided to him by the race organizers and Pilot Flying J. He finished the bicycle leg in 1 hour 28 minutes and 51 seconds, riding at an average pace of 16.75 mph. Abramson, on the other hand, carried his own Specialized road bike on his truck, and completed the bike leg in 1 hour 41 minutes and 29 seconds. Both cyclists competed in Prime’s September Bicycle Challenge with Davis riding 154.98 miles and finishing first and Abramson finishing sixth with 33.83 miles during the month long competition. Buchannan finished the run in 58 minutes and 21 seconds for the Matt Sandwich team while Calhoun came across the line with a split time of 1 hour 6 minutes and 6 seconds.
For the drivers in both relay teams, this was their first ever triathlon and they were the first long haul drivers to be a part of the Truckers To Triathlon program created by Dr. George “Bud” Harris. Not so, however, for Jeff Schmid. In 2008, Schmid started training for sprint triathlons while driving in the Midwest region. To date, he has competed in eight triathlons and earned an athletic trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) in 2010. Schmid finished the swim in 46 minutes and 21 seconds and finished the bike in 1 hour 45 minutes and 4 seconds, riding at an average speed of 14.16 mph.
“I am extremely proud of the Prime drivers,” said Siphiwe Baleka, Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness Coach. “It takes a real commitment to exercise while on the road and they showed that truck drivers can be triathletes, too.”