Truck Driving Cyclist

25
Jun
2012

From time to time our Make it Happen Monday series features interesting people whose stories are sure to inspire the rest of us.  This time we’re focusing on Eric McWhirter who is constantly traveling across the USA with his job as a truck driver, but what’s cool is he always has his bike along for the journey.

When I first started following Eric on social media I kept reading about all these different cities he was cycling in and where he would be off to next.  I was like, dang, this dude sure does get around on his bike. Then I found out he was a truck driver, but integrates his career with his love for the bike.

Eric 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, until it got stolen very soon after.  So next up was a Trek 4300 HT and along with it came a serious cycling attitude and more miles.

During the time he got into cycling, he was off the road and working an office job.  But when the economy took a downswing he went back to trucking.  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 on the truck and any free time he’s had on the road since then 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 Loving the Bike time now.

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).

So far Eric has been able to ride in 14 different States, but wants to cycle in many more.  He’d also like to take part in more cycling events around the country as well.  He did the LIVESTRONG Challenge back in 2010, but after having a few health scares he hasn’t since taken part in any more of these types of events.

Now get this, Eric drives a Volvo 780 which means it has enough room that he can even ride his bike on the trainer….inside the truck.  What?  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.  Keep on Making it Happen, Eric.

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8 Responses to “ Truck Driving Cyclist ”

  1. Jersey Boy on November 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Great story, I may be going into trucking and as an avid biker having a bike on board would make life on the road much more bearable

  2. Auto Transport on June 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    That is a truly inspiring story! Thumbs up for Eric and I will be sure to share this with our truck drivers.
    Keep up the cycling!

  3. Eric McWhirter on June 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for the kind words, @Joel_reasons2ride:disqus , You can do it too, it would be tight quarters, and getting the time to ride can be hard, but do able.
    @twitter-60464051:disqus , I’m not the only driver out here that rides,though I am more hard core about my riding than most lol, but there are to few just the same, there is a site on fb called Ride and Roll, they have set up at trucking shows and have done radio interviews, to help other drivers get interested in riding. I like the idea of bike facilities near truck stops a lot. some truck stops are suggesting routes for walking and have exercise rooms.@f4794714a07ce2155ea693d0e0265124:disqus How have you been ? doing well I hope. I’m not shy about my riding through a truck stop, but I think a fat man in spandx scares a few drivers! But I hope it does get them to thinking about their health, with the DOT about to change the regulations concerning Medical cards it could put a lot of drivers out of work, and hell riding a bike is just plain fun you know! @AmandaGaleKotyk:disqus , Thanks Amanda, I will continue to love the bike, I’m not letting the joy I get to leave again as I did many years ago. But this could be a mid life crisis… ;-)

  4. Horizon Seeker on June 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Used to have a mtb on the back of my rig, but would really get nasty from the weather, then I got a fold up and kept it inside. A lot of drivers used to complain about layovers, but because I had a bike I loved them. Retired two years ago and I look forward everyday to riding bikes. Planning a cross country self contained ride in Sept.-El Paso to Auburn Al. Maybe your example will inspire other truck drivers to get on a bike. Best of luck!

  5. Joel Phillips on June 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

    How Sweet is this! Dude, you get to ride all over the country and get paid to move your bike from point to point to point. I am jealous, I think there is a driving school a bike ride away from where I live…Open road, husband/wife driving team, bicycle rides all over the country, am I missing something, Love, loVE LOVE this story….Thanks Darryl and Eric, I applaud you from the standing position, BRAVO!

  6. Martha A. Boyd on June 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    WoW! Talk about someone really making it happen. Great job Eric! Hope lots of your fellow truck drivers follow your example.
    You just gave me ideas about planning for bike facilities near truck stops!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Ian on June 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

    This rocks! I remember reading Eric’s timeline and thinking, ‘Wow, he does a lot of traveling, how does he manage to take his bike everywhere?’ I now have my answer. Don’t stop Eric, I hope people who spend so much time on the road can learn from you.
    Keep the Rubber Side Down.

  8. AmandaGaleKotyk on June 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I LOVE this story!! Very inspiring. Awesome job Eric…keep on Loving the Bike!

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