As mentioned in my last post, my first day in Asheville, NC, with TBT started with uncrating and sorting 534 bikes that were returning from the ITU Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland. With the bikes uncrated and sorted, it was time to start loading the trucks.
TriBike Transport (TBT) uses a variety of vehicles to carry bikes. Which vehicle being used is largely determined by how many bikes are being transported to or from a particular region. The most common vehicles are 26-foot box trucks or pickup trucks with large trailers.
These trucks and trailers are generally outfitted with a shelf (built by us) splitting the upper and lower portions of the trailer into two bicycle sized portions. I have learned under extreme duress in the wee hours of one morning in 90+ degree Georgia heat, that one can fit up to 140 fully assembled triathlon bikes into a 26-foot box truck.
With 534 bikes to transport home, we had a large collection of these vehicles to load up that were destined for a vast array of bike shops all over the country.
While packing the trucks and trailers, we were reminded that most of the stops the drivers would be making would include not only dropping off the bikes returning from Switzerland but also picking up for the next round of races.
As we loaded, we had to re-blanket each bike, call out the name on the sticker to the boss man at the laptop checking them in, and pack them in tightly so they could make their way safely home.
We worked until close to 11:00 that night sweating, cursing, and getting covered in blanket dust. The chirping crickets provided the background music as we dodged swarms of bugs circling the work lights and loaded up all of the vehicles with the bikes. . It took a lot of work to get those bikes loaded up and ready to go home — a lot.
With the bikes packed and ready to go, it was time to grab some much-needed shuteye before getting behind the wheel. Day 2 would see me heading out on the roads of the Midwest with a plan of dropping off 65 bikes and picking up nearly 90 new ones.