Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Siphiwe Baleka - Folding Bike

A Truck Driver Triathlete and his Montague Folding Bike


From time to time, we’ve done stories on the blog about Montague riders on the road with their bikes. For people who have to travel for and with their work, such as roadies and truckers, having a bike that’s easy to transport is important, since there’s not always space in the back of a trailer or in a sleeping cab for a non-folding bicycle.

Montague Paratrooper in the sleeper cab. Photo courtesy of Siphiwe Baleka.

But there’s at least one truck driver out there who’s taking it to the next level. Siphiwe Baleka is a long haul trucker who not only travels with a Montague Paratrooper in his cab – he trains on it. A former Ivy League swimming champion for Yale in the early 1990s, when Siphiwe began his career as a trucker in 2008, he started to gain weight and didn’t like it. Although he spent many hours sitting in his truck, he was determined to find the means and motivation to stay in shape (you can see more about this at his website, Fitness Trucking). He decided to start training for the Ironman Triathlon.

Although Siphiwe keeps to a tight driving schedule, he finds time to work out every day, whether it’s a ride, run, swim, or any combination of the three. He tries to get 2 hours in before he starts driving, but when that’s not possible, he splits his workout, doing an hour in the morning and an hour later in the day.

Unfolding the Montague Paratrooper in 3 easy steps. Photos courtesy of Siphiwe Baleka.

And his training has been successful. In 2011, Siphiwe competed at the Masters Triathlon National Championship here in the U.S., where he placed 87th in his age group. He also traveled to South Africa this April, where he completed an Ironman Triathlon, improving on his 2011 Nationals result, finishing in 11:59:14, which was good enough for 50th place in his age group and 216th overall (if this doesn’t sound like much to you, consider that there were close to 1400 participants. 216th is not too shabby).

Getting in shape for the Ironman in Jackson Lake, CO. Photo courtesy of Siphiwe Baleka.

Siphiwe has made it his personal mission (and business) to show other truckers that they can be active, fit, and compete at high levels. He also has a series of exercise DVDs for truckers, showing them exercises they can do in their cab while driving, or in just 30 minutes outside their cab. This is really important as people become more aware of the health problems caused by obesity and inactivity.

On behalf of Montague, I’d like to wish Siphiwe continued success at his triathlon and swimming competitions. Keep on trucking with your Montague bike!