Friday, May 25, 2012

Official Bike Count - 2012 San Diego or Bust

Some may say Kona doesn't have anything on the San Diego or Bust Bike Count....

Cervelo: .....................20
Specialized: ................13
Trek: ..........................10
Cannondale: ...............8
Quintana Roo: ............6
Giant: .........................3
Scott: .........................3
Jack Kane: .................1
Blue: ...........................1
Focus: ........................1
Orbea: ........................1
Bianchi: .......................1 
Tirreno: .......................1
Novara: ......................1
Serrotta: .....................1
Softride: .....................1
Schwinn: .....................1
Lemond: .....................1
Pinarello: ....................1
LaPierre: ....................1
Scattante: ...................1

Friday, May 18, 2012

Race Weekend - Lots o' Bikes

We arrived in San Diego Wednesday night. We had driven 2,75 miles since Sunday night. Once we jumped off the truck at the Bahia Hotel, we were eager to check in. Checking in turned out to be an ordeal.

First, the keys didn't work. Second, we picked up a new set of keys, but when we opened the door, it was a single bed. There were three of us. Yes, we had been sharing the cab of a truck for days, but we're not that close. The staff were very helpful during this.

Eventually, we landed in a room with keys that worked and beds. The only downside of the room? It was numbered 666! I mean, c'mon! We have eighty one athletes' bikes in our control, we did not need any Demons.

After we dropped off our bags, our next mission was food. Guess what? Everything near the hotel closes at 10pm on a week night. Thankfully one of the restaurants served us after hours.

Soon after it was time to count some sheep. I had been sleeping on a moving truck since Sunday, so when I hit the bed, I hit it hard. I was out.

Thursday was the first bike unload day. I spent hours packaging every single one of the these athlete's bikes in D.C. and Denver, so I knew we were all set. We unloaded 75 of the 81 bikes. Unfortunately, only 15 or so were able to pick their bikes up given travel schedules, so we loaded all the bikes back up again. Since the reefer was not moving, we did not have to lock every bike down.

Thursday night we were able to relax. A word we haven't been able to utter since Sunday morning. However, by relax, I mean fall asleep immediately. Friday was set for bike unloading all day. Transition opened at 12pm. We were unloaded by 9am. See a potential issue? We had maybe three riders until 12pm. A lesson we learned for next time.

I was able to sneak away for half and hour to see the women's ITU pro race and grab some food. Man, they are fast swimmers. I would probably only be at the first buoy by the time they re-entered the water for the second lap. Siphiwe is going to help change that. I had never seen an ITU race transition before either. It must be nice to have your own little station compared to the chaos that is the age group racks.

My thirty minutes of free time was short lived as I headed back to the truck to continue releasing bikes to athletes. We were there until about 4:45pm I believe. Those last three bikes....

Day after the Race
Saturday, my day was comprised of wearing two hats - that of a race Sherpa and that of a legendary bike packer. I race Sherpa'd for Siphiwe. Siphiwe was able to race this weekend in addition to driving. I was stoked I was able to outfit him on my Jack Kane triathlon bike. He said he's already designing his Jack Kane. He had a kick a$$ race. Read his race report here (opens in a new window).

After my Sherpa duties were completed, my sights quickly shifted to the prominent task -- Loading all 81 bikes back into the trailer that day. Initially, we did not have any bike racks. I apologize for those that had to wait. It was out of our hands. Once I started packing, I was glad I was wearing gloves because touching that many sweaty and gel gooped bikes wasn't the most appealing.

I started loading bikes around 11am and wrapped up around 5:15pm. It was much faster this time around. THANK YOU to everyone that was able to take off their rear saddle cages off. It seriously saved me hours! We were able to load every bike, but one. It was a bummer that I did not get to see any of the Men's ITU race, especially since Hunter Kemper is a fellow Wake Forest University alum. We picked up the last bike up Sunday morning. We departed and ten minutes in, I realized I forgot my camera battery!!

Turning around in a semi-trailer is not the easiest thing in the world. I said I would have the hotel mail it to me, but Mike, who was driving at the time, said it wasn't a big deal. From there, we began our trip back!

Bicycle Packing Guru

Jack Kane Bikes -

Saturday, May 12, 2012

We're NOT Done Yet!

Tomorrow we start our drive back across the U.S. We stop in Denver and our final destination is D.C. Both Sip and I have a few more posts about this trip that will be published, so keep on checking out the blog. Ride hard, Zane & Sip

Friday, May 11, 2012

Flat Stanley's Triathlon Adventure Part II

We last heard from Flat Stanley as he passed through Kansas City. While he is really excited for the triathlon, he's been exploring and learning new things as he travels across the country with friends. Here's the latest:

Mike and Flat Stanley showing off his Peterbilt truck

Flat Stanley is thankful for drivers like Mike who helped deliver 81 bikes from D.C. and Denver all the way to San Diego. Can you find these cities on a map? He would drive 11 hours at a time! He likes Mike because he is friendly, funny, happy, and likes basketball. Mike has a special license to drive a big truck like this. It is called a "CDL" or "Commercial Driver's License". He carries heavy things like food, pharmaceuticals, hazardous materials, batteries, and now, bikes. Why do drivers need a license? What have you seen truck drivers carry on the road?

Trucks require a big building to be able to be washed. Here, Flat Stanley is waiting in line to be cleaned and washed. What's your favorite part of the car wash? Why is it good to keep your car and truck clean?

Flat Stanley liked TriBella Women's Multisport shop. Their store was clean and nice. What do you think a multisport store is?

He's been so comfortable hanging out in the back of the trailer, he feels like he lives there. This is Flat Stanley's fort. He built it out of cardboard, bubble wrap, bungee cords, and a lot of nice bikes. It's the perfect balance of being both laterally stiff and vertically compliant.... He built a window so he could look out and see what was going on. Have you ever made a fort out of cardboard? What are forts used for?

He's jumping for joy that it's all packed

Flat Stanley never even had to loosen his tie as packed so many bikes. What's the biggest project you've worked on?

Flat Stanley hears that Golden, Colorado is very nice. They hosted a great stage in a bike race called the US Pro Cycling Challenge last year. They had concerts, movies, and lots of fun. They are having another one this year! Can you find it on the map? He likes ringing a cow bell at bike races. Why do some cows need bells? How did Golden, CO get its name?

Flat Stanley is proud to live in the United States. He is thankful for servicemen and servicewomen's sacrifices, so he can live a safer life. What does the Blue Star mean? Can you name the branches of the Armed Forces?

Flat Stanley had never see little bushes like the ones behind him before. These bushes are in the desert, where it is hot, dry, and has lots of open space. What sort of animals do you think live there? Snakes? Birds? Ants? He wanted to go play in there, but he was wearing his nice clothes. He knows he shouldn't play in his nice clothes.

Tons of more Flat Stanley adventures await!

Have a question for Flat Stanley?

Ask him at or

Zane, Kane Bikes

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"So Many Bikes, Just Enough Space"

In this post, I talk about traveling across Kansas into Denver, the Denver bike load at TriBella Women’s Multisport shop, and the completion of our bike load for San Diego or Bust. Finally, some interesting truck facts. Flat Stanley has been working on his post too.

When I knew I was accompanying Siphiwe and Mike on this cross country journey, I was stoked to be able to see the U.S. landscape. Our country’s terrain is diverse and beautiful that I could not wait to see it again. I saw it when I was a kid, but like most children, I did not fully embrace the experience. I hope with the massive amounts of photos I have been taking, you’ll be able to see some of the areas.

The downside about always being on the move in a truck is that you miss some of the scenery changes. We were driving through the Kansas prairies, full of green vegetation (photo above), occasional horse farms, and rolling mounds. While I'm sure it can become mundane after awhile, there is something very calm and serene about the area as we drove through. However, truckers have a different sentiment. The winds can be absolutely brutal. Triathletes know about being tossed around in the wind with deep dish wheels, just imagine a 53' foot trailer being blown against. As the sun set, I was disappointed to know that we would be rolling into Denver while it was still dark, so I would not be able to see the emerging hazy silhouettes of the Rocky Mountains as we approached.

When I awoke and stepped out of the truck, the lush greens has turned to rock and sand. It was thirty-four degrees and I could see my breath, but we were at the edge of some snow covered peaks. I guess Denver has good Omelettes because I had my first "Denver Omelette". Is Denver known for them? Since we rolled in before our 3pm load time, we were able to stop by the Prime Inc. Yard, pick up more load locks, write some posts, do laundry, and take showers. My favorite part? Not feeling the constant road movement under me. It’s much easier to type, write, and take photos on solid ground.

A photo from the Yard in Denver.

After we took care of business in the Yard, we went to a washout or as most people call it, a truck wash. These washes are huge. It takes 3-5 guys to wash each truck. They use long brushes and pressure washers to remove the road grime and bugs. Once we were presentable, we headed to TriBella Women’s Multisport shop on Bannock Street to begin loading bikes.

Like bicycles -- take care of your equipment and it takes care of you!

Mike, who was driving at the time, is an animal. He showed his Zen Master driving skills as he parked the behemoth of a vehicle on a two lane city street. Not only did he park it, he parallel parked it! Something tells me he wanted to impress Flat Stanley. They’re buddies now (their photo is in the upcoming post). Siphiwe went on a little journey himself trying to find a pool and I’ll let him tell it if he’s so inclined. The TriBella folks were very nice and accommodating. Thank you!

It took me awhile to find my loading groove as it seemed every bike had the rear saddle cages. They are the antagonists in this packing story. Who would have thought an inanimate object could cause frustration? We started locking bikes down in Denver around 3:40pm and didn’t finish until 8:59pm. Once again, the people were great to talk to and excited about this trip. They echoed the sentiments of the D.C. athletes. They couldn't have come if it were not for this service. The last bike we loaded was Susan Williams, the only American woman to earn an Olympic medal in triathlon. I guess it’s a good thing we didn’t leave early.

I tried to live stream the load process, but it was up and down, so if you were to watch some of it, thank you! All in all, I loaded, packed, secured, and tied-down 81 bikes for the outbound trip to San Diego – and I still have an affinity for bikes! (Come talk to me after we get back to D.C. That may change.) Here's a video of inside the trailer. I'll post some day light photos soon.

As the reefer (lingo for refrigerator trailers) was ready to be locked up, we couldn’t believe the final result. We completely filled a 53’ trailer full of bikes and packaging. We secured it, high fived, and scurried into the cab to continue our way west. It would have been nice to leave during the day because I wanted to drive through the mountains. I would have missed it anyways because once we hit the road, I was out like a light. Another night sleeping on the road.

81 bikes. 11 total hours of loading/packaging. EPIC.
My math and spacing calculations -- SPOT ON!





















Truck Facts:

  • It takes a truck traveling at 55mph three football fields to come to a complete stop. So, the next time you think about cutting off a truck, please be careful.
  • Truck weights have to be calculated in a couple ways. Drivers do not simply attach a reefer and roll. They have to ensure the weight distribution over the front, middle, and rear wheels are properly distributed. States have their own regulations.
  • The rear wheels on a reefer are called “tandems”
  • For this trip, Siphiwe and Mike have been taking 11 hour driving shifts. While one is driving the other is sleeping or in the back, relaxing.
The Next Couple Posts I’m Working On:

  • Flat Stanley has been a busy man
  • Why was this trip done?
  • How does a non-Trucker survive on the road?
  • Thanks for reading.


    I will be posting a ton of photos, but here are a couple in relation to this post

    Tuesday, May 8, 2012

    Flat Stanley's Triathlon Trip Adventures Part I

    While Siphiwe, Mike, and myself are certainly popular amongst the athletes, the real star of the show is Castle Hayne Elementary School's Flat Stanley. On top of being the best dressed guy in the truck, (he wears a tie and cuff links!) he's keeping us in line and supervising everyone's bikes.

    Here's what he's been up to:

    Flat Stanley started in Washington, D.C, where we loaded 53 race bikes.

    He likes hanging out with the bikes. In this picture, he is standing on what truckers call a "load lock". It is a long adjustable bar that can be secured vertically or horizontally. This load lock stops the bikes from moving back and forth as we travel down the road.
    He started hanging off the bubble wrap like a monkey and waved goodbye as we were about to pack up. Flat Stanley is thankful for Apex Packaging providing his bubble wrap. What can bubble wrap be used for other than packing bicycles? What type of noise does bubble wrap make?
    Here he is hanging in the back of the truck as we pass through Indianapolis. What NFL team is home to Indianapolis? Can you name a monument in Indianapolis?
    Here we are passing the exit for the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School. Why do people go to medical school? What color coats do doctors wear?

    Try finding the cities Flat Stanley has been to on a map. Click here for a map. Flat Stanley may give you a shout out for the right answers.

    The second letter I received:

    Dear Mr. Zane, Thank you for letting us give you our Flat Stanley. Thank you for showing us another cool bike! Can you please show us the coolest bike you have? Please come and visit when you get back from your trip, so we can play a game. Please keep Flat Stanley safe! Sincerely, Castle Hayne Elementary School
    Have a question for Flat Stanley? Ask him on Twitter ( or in the comment section.

    Thanks for reading and Flat Stanley cannot wait to show you more of his adventures!


    Jack Kane Bikes

    Some thoughts from a truck-driving triathlete . . .

    Our San Diego or Bust one-truck-convoy has reached the Denver area and I have a few moments to share my thoughts. Its amazing that I am driving a Prime Inc. truck for USA Triathlon to carry bicycles to the ITU World Triathlon San Diego race. This is only my second year in triathlon, but I have learned and experienced so much.
    Last year I drove my truck and delivered a load at Ben & Jerry's, then parked my truck and competed in the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, VT. I had a great race and an even greater experience. It was there were I met Tim Yount of USAT. Like many triathletes, I ate and slept all things triathlon. I read all the magazines and books, and watched all the ITU races. So when Tim called me with the idea of transporting bikes to San Diego in the back of a Prime trailer, I was thrilled. An opportunity to see all the elite athletes I was watching on
    I, however, had no experience with packing or shipping bikes in my trailer, so I had to call in some expertise. The first person I called was Zane Schweer of Jack Kane Custom Racing Bicycles which was a sponsor of the Endurance Films Racing Team and who served as our teams bike specialist in Burlington. It was Zane who assured us this could be done and came up with the packing plan and logistics and everything. With Zane on board, it became a road trip. San Diego or Bust!
    A lot of people ask me how I am able to train and compete as a triathlete while living on the road as a truck driver. to find out, read my post How I Do It on my website: Well, in two more days we will be in San Diego and I will be getting ready to race! See you all there! Siphiwe Baleka, ZuluRoadmaster 214th at 2012 Ironman South Africa Pictures: Saying goodbye to my son TaNihisi, Getting Mike's truck washed, my co-driver Mike, Zane packing the bikes