Mario Almendarez, a lease operator at Prime Inc, rode a total of 538.99 miles to win the trucking company’s 2013 May Bicycle Challenge. Almendarez took the lead from Ange Mwiseneza during the final week of May by riding 204.59 miles. He finished the competition in second place with 488.5 miles, while Jeff Schmid finished in third with 155.34 miles.
The month-long competition was designed by Siphiwe Baleka, Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness program coach, in an effort to further the culture of fitness among the firm’s drivers. Twice a year, Prime sponsors a month-long bicycle challenge to encourage drivers to be more active.
As part of its award-winning Driver Health and Fitness program, Prime’s drivers store bikes on their trucks and use smartphone apps to track rides. Accumulating miles is contingent on a number of factors.
“It all comes down to location and trips,” said Almendarez. “I was lucky to be in the south last month with a lot of short trips and good weather. Up north, where I usually run, I probably wouldn’t have done as well.”
Roy Romo, who finished second in 2012 during the September Bicycle Challenge, finished fourth in this year’s May challenge with 62.9 miles.
“As a Prime student driver trainer,” Romo said, “I found riding a bike an enjoyable way to see and explore more at the places I travel to, as well as a way to exercise. The bike challenge gave me the incentive to ride more often and farther than I would have otherwise. I encourage every driver to find a way to get out of the truck and exercise as often as you can.”
In 2012, Prime and bicycle manufacturer Montague partnered to provide quality fold-up mountain bikes to the fleet.
“Twenty-eight drivers now carry a mountain bike inside their tractor cabs,” Baleka said, “and more and more drivers are riding.”
Headquartered in Springfield MO, Prime is a refrigerated, flatbed, tanker, and logistics trucking company.