In It for the Adventure
“Trucker Cycler” Scott Grenerth sees the country by truck and by bike
Scott Grenerth, 40, has been trucking for more than 10 years. He’s been an owner-operator, leased to Fikes, for just over two years, and hauls steel and aluminum primarily throughout the Midwest.
When did you become interested in cycling?
I have loved biking since I was a little, little kid. I used to take trips way further than my mom or dad would want me to. I used to sneak out into other neighborhoods. I love to explore, and I’d have to say the bike is my favorite way to do it. Kayaking is a close second. … This is something that I’ve said many times: How many drivers became a truck driver because they wanted to “see the country?” How many drivers actually get to see the country and really experience it, when you go from Warehouse A up in Northwest Ohio to Warehouse B somewhere in New Mexico. You get sort of an overview of the country, but you’re not really able to experience it. That’s what I love about the bike. I can meet great people, get great food, enjoy music, sit back and relax in a nice park that I ride my bike to. All of those things are accessible to me because of my bike, and they might not be accessible to some other truckers, even those driving bobtail.
What are some of your favorite places to ride?
Nashville. Specifically from the TA … that’s a great one for anybody because you’re right there, and you can explore downtown. They’ve got parks. Bicentennial Park is a really cool one that showcases the history of Tennessee that’s right across the river from the TA. … And then you’ve got the state capitol right there, which is beautiful. Of course, you can’t mention Nashville without mentioning the music. You’ve just got oodles of options there. … For bike riding, there’s the Shelby Bottoms Greenway, which is a multipurpose trail that goes right along the river. I want to say it goes about six miles or so. There’s a bike lane that you can follow that goes right to the trail. It’s a nice, easy ride, a lot of beautiful nature. And then there’s food galore. Nashville is a major international city. It shattered my stereotype very quickly.
I don’t get there hardly at all, but I love Kansas City, … very bike friendly, lots of bike lanes. There’s River Market, which has lots of fruit, local products. … There’s a whole entertainment district called the Power and Light District, and they have concerts out there. There’s all kinds of little shops and places and bars and clubs. There’s all kinds of opportunities for night life. One major highlight, for sure, is the National WWI Memorial, which is located in the park, which is pretty much the highest point overviewing the city.
Talk about the Trucker Cycler website (truckercycler.com) and how it came to be.
What I started off with there, at least, was the idea that I wanted to list places that were good, safe places to park a truck at where you don’t have to worry about your truck getting towed away while you were parked, that are convenient and realistically close to interesting places to ride to. … I just wanted to show examples of how you can carry a bike on a truck so at least people can think about it, see examples and then come up with what’s appropriate for them.
What are the biggest obstacles you face with staying healthy on the road? How do you overcome those?
Getting good food, not processed, what I like to call “food-like substances.” … The way I overcome that is twofold. One: With a bike. Whenever I get a chance to do that, I will definitely find a good local place to buy food, get some fresh vegetables. I keep a cooler with me in the truck. I’ve always done that since day one. The other thing is I also, because I mainly run the same area a lot, I know of a couple of places where I can park my truck behind a grocery store and go in and get whatever groceries I need there that I could not find at a truckstop. … Even if it’s just once a week, if you can find a place like that, it’s enough to stock up for a week.
The other thing is, when I do occasionally eat at a truckstop, I choose carefully.
What tips do you have for drivers who want to get healthier?
The main thing is you are what you eat, and you need to get exercise. Those two things, you just cannot deny them. And keep in mind … while some food choices might seem cheaper in the short-term because of their price, in the long-term you can pay a much bigger price for eating junk food. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to understand, grasp and get over.
I would encourage drivers to find some way to exercise. Every little bit helps, and everybody has to start from somewhere. You don’t have to expect to be an Olympic athlete next week. That first step you take is the most important one.
CSA Bad for Your Health (Certification)?
Compliance program has minimal health-related requirements
With the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability program coming into play, some drivers are more concerned than ever that their health will take them off the road. But is this worry warranted?
Probably not. While CSA does include a “Driver Fitness” BASIC category of measurement, it doesn’t involve additional health requirements. The program does, however, emphasize the importance of keeping medical certification up-to-date, with penalties against companies for non-compliance.
Additionally, the Controlled Substances/Alcohol BASIC includes penalties assessed to the driver for substance or alcohol possession or abuse — fairly common sense and, again, not really anything new.
For more information about the program, including the Driver Fitness BASIC, visit www.csa2010.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Health Group Seeks Walkers
Driver group looks to build on success of previous health walks
The Trucking Solutions Group will hold its fifth health walk April 2 in Louisville, Ky. The Mid-America Trucking Show Driver Health Awareness Walk will be at 8 a.m. at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, with sign-up available on-site.
“One of the things I’m hoping to get from the walk is that drivers will see other people out walking and join them for a walk,” says Trucking Solutions Group Chairwoman Linda Caffee. The walk will be a non-competitive 1.5 miles.
Caffee says the group also will sponsor a mobile blood donation site, run by the American Red Cross, April 2 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. “I have been surprised [at the positive response to the idea],” Caffee says. “I’ve been talking to drivers about it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, man, that’s cool! I always try to give blood when I go home, but it doesn’t always work out.’”
The group also has plans for health walks this year at the Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas and the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
For more information about the Trucking Solutions Group’s upcoming events, contact Caffee at firstname.lastname@example.org.