Eric McWhirter has been driving a truck off and on since getting out of the Army in 1990, but never was all that into cycling until 2004. He wanted to do something to improve his health, and due to some physical issues he felt that cycling was the best choice. He bought a mountain bike from a pawn shop and started riding around the block. After he figured out he was absolutely committed to this new fitness regimen, he upgraded to a better bike, a Trek 4300 HT. Once he began riding the Trek he became much more serious with his cycling attitude and more miles.
It was at this point that his love for cycling and life on the road began to mix. He was at a truck stop in Portland, Oregon and was parked next to a bike path¦it was at this moment that Eric found himself missing his bike. As soon as he got back home from that trip he put his Trek in the truck. Since then, any free time he’s had on the road has been spent on his bike. Sometimes it gets him in a little trouble. It used to tick off the office if they would call with a load and I was 10 miles from my truck, says Eric. But his company understands about his health commitment.
So what do his fellow truck driving buddies have to say about this bike riding trucker? They ask where I keep my bike, and I’m always happy to show them. Life on the road is tough and Eric thinks it would be a great thing if more truck drivers released some of that driving tension by getting out on their bikes. Plus with new government health laws on the way, many truckers may find themselves out of work if they don’t shape up (literally).
Eric drives a Volvo 780 sleeper cab, which means it has enough room that he can even ride his bike on the trainer inside the truck. Actually, at the moment, he has two bikes with him which makes things a little tight¦.but that’s totally fine with Eric. On a weekly basis, he is driving between 3,000 and 3,500 miles and gets on the bike during his 34 hour restart.
So what does Eric like best about cycling? The challenge and the freedom. He loves the challenge of mapping out his ride in the new locations he always finds himself in, as well as getting away from the truck stops to do something positive for his health. This truck driver has found freedom and better health by way of the bike.
Article originally posted at Loving The Bike online – by Darryl Kotyck