The life of a trucker is that of constant travel and unfortunately, long hours of inactivity. One athlete turned truck driver is bringing a new culture of fitness to an industry that has some of the highest rates of obesity and lowest life expectancies in the US, and he’s doing it with a Montague bike.
Siphiwe Baleka was once an Ivy Leage swimmer with Olympic aspirations. After majoring in Philosophy at Yale, he took a philosophical journey of his own to explore the world and find his roots. After 15 years of travel that took him through Europe,Trinidad, Honduras, Togo and Ethiopa, he’s back in the US and having a major impact on an industry he never thought he would be involved in. He began driving a truck in 2008 as a way to continue his nomadic lifestyle and maintain an income.
While Siphiwe enjoyed the travel, he began to see the affects of sitting for long hours every day. After developing his own routines for working out on the road, he turned his attention to his fellow drivers. In 2012, he gave up driving and became an in house fitness instructor for Prime Inc, one of the country’s largest trucking companies. Siphiwe has introduced the Prime Transformation program for their drivers which includes exercise and nutritional components. One component he’s now sharing with fellow drivers: a Montague bike.
The compact nature of Montague’s folding bikes gives truckers the ability to stow a full size bike on board their rig. Having a bike gives drivers a way to get outside, exercise, and see even more of the countryside. It can be difficult to find the motivation to work out at a truck stop with no equipment but a bike gives you freedom, and an exciting form of recreation.
Prime Inc has teamed up directly with Montague in order to offer their drivers easier access to bikes through a purchase program. The more drivers we can get riding bikes, the closer we come to reversing the trend of obesity, heart disease, and low life spans for truck drivers. Siphiwe’s efforts are only growing. He was recently featured in an issue of Sports Illustrated for his work and he’s begun advising other trucking companies on their fitness programs as well. It looks like the trucking industry’s fitness revolution has begun, and it’s thanks in a large part to this one man.