Why long-haul truckers are turning to bikes, and spandex

Living on Earth

A new sight on America’s highways: On 18-wheelers, we’re beginning to see bicycles

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Scott Grenerth owns and operates an 18-wheeler, which he drives cross-country hauling thousands of pounds of cargo. His truck also carries something lightweight, which most truckers don’t carry: a bike.

For three years now, Grenerth has been putting on the spandex and riding his bike over the 34-hour breaks he gets during his long routes.

"I like to find the unique local places," Grenerth says, "historical sites, great blues music, or some good, local microbrew if I’ve got enough time off and definitely, definitely food. It’s definitely different than just sitting around at the truck stop and complaining. Which, unfortunately, you do find a lot of drivers that do that, and they just don’t think about getting out of the cab of the truck and leaving the truck stop behind."

Grenerth has become and evangelist for the trucker-biker, and has launched a website, rideandroll.me, as a resource for other truckers who want to give bikes a go. The site has a Google map, showing truckers legal places to park their rigs near good biking areas. There's also a Facebook group where members share information about routes and equipment.

The community is active, says Grenerth, and reaction from other truckers has been positive. "They immediately go, 'You know, that would be great -- to get away from the truck stop, and that would be some exercise,' because it’s low impact. And that’s what a lot of drivers need because they’re in poor shape to begin with -- it’s not like they can just start, you know, running marathons."

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