TBT Update Regarding COVID-19

Greetings athletes,

As you undoubtedly know, the Covid-19 situation has evolved and will continue to change at an incredible pace over the next few weeks. We will continue to keep you informed on our response as we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances.

First, we’d like to share some information about our business that will provide some context for our handling of this challenge. We are a small business, with 10-12 full-time, permanent employees in Asheville, NC and 25-30 seasonal drivers who would normally have just started rolling to transport bikes over our season, which runs from March into early December.

TBT is now faced with a challenge (as we all are) that would have been unimaginable just a few weeks ago. We are at the mercy of race directors and local governments, but we understand that their decisions are driven first and foremost with the goal of minimizing the spread of the virus, as they should be.

Since our very first event in 2005, our primary guiding principles have been to do what is ‘right’ by our customers and to always communicate openly and honestly with them. That will not change now.

As it stands, we are aware that most events through the end of April have been cancelled or postponed, and as guidelines and restrictions on gatherings continue to grow, more postponements are likely. Throughout the months leading up to these events, our staff work year-round to ensure a hassle-free and efficient experience for all of our athletes. There are many expenses that are necessary for transportation including permits, insurance, licensing, marketing, equipment, rentals, hiring, and staff training among others. About half the total costs of providing our service have already been incurred for your event before trucks start rolling to pick up the first bike, whether the event happens as scheduled or not. An additional complicating factor is that reservations that would normally be accelerating as the season begins, have now virtually stopped.

Under our longstanding policy, your reservation can be exchanged to a deferred credit (credits do not expire and are transferable to other races and/or individuals), or if requested more than 30 days prior to the scheduled event date, it can be refunded, with a $75 cancellation fee. Given the circumstances outlined above, we would ask that if your event is cancelled or postponed, you choose to take a deferred credit as opposed to a refund (less the cancellation fee). We look forward to being there to transport your bike to your next race. Deferring your credit towards a future race rather than taking a refund will be a great help in making it possible for us to continue to serve athletes for many years to come. Should you ask for a refund, we will honor your request, but note that processing times will be longer than usual. We ask for your patience and understanding that they will be issued as soon as possible.

TBT has been helping athletes achieve their goals since 2005. Once the pandemic is behind us, we will want to return to our ‘normal’ lives as quickly as possible and that will include your athletic passion.

Many of you have already reached out to us with words of gratitude, encouragement and support for our staff, and we thank you immensely for your care. We are doing everything in our power to help limit the spread of this disease, and following guidelines set forth by the CDC and the NIH. At the same time, we are looking beyond the horizon of this pandemic, to a day where we can all get back to racing, riding our bikes, and supporting athletes like you. If you plan to race in the near future, we hope that you will book your transport with TBT.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer service at info@tribiketransport.com. We will respond to you as quickly as we can.

We thank you for your continued support.

Stay healthy,

Marc Lauzon
President & Founder
TriBike Transport

There and Back Again – A TriBike Tale – IM Augusta Part 4

 

After a good night’s sleep, Jordy and I headed to the event to begin getting set up. We were happy to see that we would be set up inside the convention center in the athlete village. It was going to be a hot weekend in Augusta, and to be able to spend the first day and a half in air conditioning was a godsend!

The event opened at noon, and we needed to be ready to distribute bikes when it opened. It took us three hours to carry in and set up the racks, tables, tents, and bikes, but when we were done, it looked great.

One thing I quickly learned was how little time we actually get to spend with each customer – even when you include the time it takes to install pedals and pump up tires. We spend so much time and energy making sure that you have your bike for race day, and yet each exchange really only happens in the course of a couple of minutes, unless there are issues.

While issues are rare, despite our best efforts, they do sometimes happen – and this is actually where I was most proud of TBT. While in Augusta, we had a customer bring a concern to us. As the new guy, I sat back and watched and learned as Jordy worked with the customer to immediately come to a solution. In this day and age where everyone wants you to file 10 claims, have before and after pictures and then make it the customers job to take care of it – it was an amazing thing to watch this experienced company member streamline through all of that and simply do everything in his power to make it right and ensure that the customer had a successful race experience. It made me proud to part of a company that did not try to evade responsibility but instead worked to solve the problem.

Over the next 7 hours, Jordy and I worked to make sure that the athletes had their bikes and that they were prepped and ready to go for the race.

Side Note: One great thing about traveling is finding amazing restaurants in new cities. In Augusta, I was able to find an amazing BBQ place within walking distance of the Athlete Village. They also had a quaint bar in the back that looked like a good place to hang out. One bite into my lunch I knew we needed to head back to get more ribs and enjoy the town.

This is me, James Mango.

With a majority of the bikes handed out, and Athlete’s Village closing for the day, the next 4 hours were by far the highlight of this adventure. Jordy and I had brought bikes with us, so we headed out on a ride, and ended up back at the BBQ place and had a truly spectacular experience.  We listened to an awesome local singer-songwriter, met some lively locals, and enjoyed some great food. As the evening drew to a close, we got on our bicycles and rode the 6 miles back to our hotel through the abandoned streets of Augusta, Georgia, with Google chiming the directions from the phone in my pocket. It was truly a spectacular night.

The next morning we got up and rode our bikes back to the convention center to distribute the last of the bikes and move our set up to an outdoor location just outside transition. It was clear the real work was about to begin.

COVID-19 Update

As uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions and the possibility of event postponements or cancellations increases, I wanted to reach out and let our customers know that as of today, our plans for providing service to events on our schedule remain unchanged. We are in constant communication with our race director partners and we will adapt accordingly if any event is postponed or canceled.

We understand that you may be waiting for confirmation that your event is going ahead as scheduled, prior to making a reservation to ship your bike. As a particular event date nears, our ability to accommodate last-minute reservations will be limited. For this reason, if you plan to ship your bike with TBT to any event this year, we recommend that you go ahead and make your reservation so that we can complete our logistics planning accordingly.

Should your event be rescheduled or postponed by the race director, in accordance with our longstanding policy, you will be eligible to defer your reservation to a later event. Deferrals or credits do not expire and there is no fee to reschedule your reservation.

We hope to see you at a race soon. In the meantime, each of us has a responsibility and a duty to mitigate our own risk of acquiring and/or spreading the virus. Please follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) which can be found at Advice for Public.

Stay Healthy,
Marc Lauzon
President and Founder
TriBike Transport

TriBike Transport official bike transport for MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda 2020 and ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2021

TriBike Transport (TBT) of Asheville, NC, and World Triathlon Series Bermuda, producer of the MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda and ITU World Triathlon Grand Final 2021, are pleased to announce TBT as the Official Bike Transport and Bike Rental Partner for both events.

Not only will TriBike Transport ship bikes fully assembled to Bermuda from the U.S for this year’s event, they will also have rental bikes available for those who prefer to take ‘hassle-free’ one step further. In 2021 TBT will offer bike transport to Bermuda from across the world.

“TBT was launched with the goal of easing the challenges that athletes face when traveling to triathlon events across North America and around the world.” said Marc Lauzon, founder and President of TBT. “We are very proud of the work we’ve done with USA Triathlon and other race series in North America since 2004, as well as ITU World Championship events in Europe and Australia since 2017. We are now excited to partner with World Triathlon Series Bermuda to offer the same convenience and reliability to athletes traveling to Bermuda for the ITU World Series this year and Triathlon Grand Finals in 2021.”

World Triathlon Bermuda Event Director, Alec Shepherd said: “Athletes have come to rely on TriBike Transport to transport their bikes safely and economically to many races around the world, and we are pleased to welcome them as an integral part of the triathlon experience for the hundreds of athletes visiting Bermuda for this event.”

For more information about TBT’s services, and to book your bike transport, visit www.TriBikeTransport.com

About TriBike Transport 

TriBike Transport has served over 130,000 satisfied athletes since our start in 2004. Our unique company was founded with one goal in mind: To help ease the logistical challenges and exorbitant costs of transporting bikes to and from events via airlines or ground freight. We provide HASSLE-FREE, ECONOMICAL, UNPARALLELED bike transport service to and from destination cycling events so all you have to do is worry about the finish line. For more information, visit www.TriBikeTransport.com.

About World Triathlon Series Bermuda 

The MS Amlin World Triathlon Series in Bermuda on April 18 and 19, 2020 is the third of the annual World Series Triathlon events that Bermuda will host in Bermuda’s capital city of Hamilton with support from its title sponsor MS Amlin and Main sponsors BF&M, Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Bermuda Tourism Authority, NTT and the City of Hamilton. Bermuda will host the ITU World Championships and Age Group Grand Finals in October 2021.

 

Contact

Angela Lauzon, VP Marketing, TriBike Transport

Email: angela@tribiketransport.com

 

Vicki Abraham, Head of Local Communications & Marketing, World Triathlon Bermuda

Email: vicki@tribermuda.com

There and Back Again – A TriBike Tale – The adventure behind the wheel Part 3

With the bikes returned from Switzerland packed into a myriad of trucks and ready to be returned, I got behind the wheel with my fellow drivers and began the task of returning 534 bikes. My route was the Midwest. I would be looping Indianapolis, three shops in Chicago, dropping the Minnesota and Wisconsin bikes off to a feeder truck in Milwaukee, and then hitting Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Overall I had to drop off about 65 bikes and pick up close to 90.

The logistics of this seems simple, but I can assure you – nothing goes as planned. The trip was scheduled as a three-day drive but ended up taking almost five. One of the biggest challenges I ran into involved the pickup. Customers are notified of their pick up day, but sometimes forget to double-check the partner shop’s hours., and run into challenges if the shop is closed.

My biggest education in this job was the road. We may not be commercial drivers, but the size of the trucks means we need to adhere to all Department of Transport regulations for commercial drivers. This means keeping a log, pulling into weigh stations, and maintaining legal hours of driving, breaks, and off duty time. I also got to experience truck stops from the other entrance. In my youth, I drove a limo and also a newspaper truck, but this was a whole new ballgame.

We can drive 11 hours in a day, but when that shift ends, you have to take 10 hours off. I recommend sleeping. We also need to take a half-hour break before working 8 hours straight. I recommend eating.

Living on the road creates an interesting set of challenges. The things I discovered that most significantly impacted my overall well being were the quality of my hotel, my hygiene, my diet, and my ability to maintain some workout routine. A lot of those challenges are solved by selecting the right hotel.

Most TBT drivers are athletic. A lot of us race. The work itself requires significant physical

This is me, James Mango.

requirements.  Personally I find that my mental well being is negatively impacted if I am not exercising. But eating well and exercising takes planning and effort on the road, and can be very challenging to sustain.

I have come to look for several things when picking a hotel:

  • A fitness center
  • Guest laundry
  • A grocery store (preferably an Aldi’s) within walking distance
  • A restaurant

You may not need all or any of these on a given night, but a hotel that has them shows an effort to cater to the functional guest. If a hotel has most of the above mentioned four things, your room is a lot less likely to smell like cigarettes and sex.

A full day for me would include: a banana, treadmill run, shower, continental breakfast, making a salad for the day’s break, driving (with stops, snacks, gas), lunch break, driving again, picking that night’s hotel, stop for any groceries, check-in, start laundry if needed, hit restaurant for a beer and possibly food, put clothes in dryer, video chat with family, fold clothes and pass out.

The odds of that entire agenda being accomplished are very small. Every day on the road, you have to shuffle what can or will need to be done. You don’t need to do laundry every day. You don’t need to shop every day. And some days you drive till midnight and need to do all of that in the morning. Adaptability is the key to success. No trip goes as planned.

My first stop led to a 9 pm meet up in a hotel parking lot two days after I was supposed to get the bike of a Kona customer who missed his drop off. I have learned the art of picking a good parking lot. Meeting other drivers to exchange bikes at the crack of dawn in Milwaukee or at sunset in Toledo absolutely happened.

There are feeder routes that meet up with the larger trucks to minimize miles and stops. In Milwaukee and Detroit, I met drivers with sprinter vans who would shuttle the bikes to Minnesota and Canada. In a couple of cases, they also took or picked up bikes that I couldn’t deliver because the shops were closed.

The other big factor of living on the road is family. I have a wife and children, and believe it or not, we all really like each other, which means being gone for long periods of time is a challenge. I learned the importance of speakerphone chats while driving and video chats at bedtime. (My bedtime, honestly, because they all stay up later than me.)

With my drop off and pick up schedule complete, I headed back to Asheville. It wasn’t until I was back that I realized I was only 1 of 6 drivers that had been doing the same thing in different parts of the country. There were three major IRONMAN® races in the Eastern US that upcoming weekend: Maryland, Chattanooga, and the 70.3® in Augusta.  We had all also collected the bikes for Kona and Barcelona, which needed to be packed up and shipped.

So, as we all unloaded, we separated our bikes into their eventual race destinations. We then spent a day loading all of the trucks with those bikes. Not only the bikes but with all of the supplies to manage the events themselves: bike racks, fencing, tents, tables, tools, chairs, coolers…. you get the idea.

With the trucks all loaded up, I headed in for a night’s rest before heading to Augusta with Jordy to work the IRONMAN® 70.3® there. It was a short drive, so we were able to leave Thursday afternoon and make it there in plenty of time to get dinner and a good night’s sleep. Our work started the next day.

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