Bay Area triathletes without bikes as shipping companies battle in court

Nearly 200 triathletes say their racing bikes are stuck in limbo while two transportation companies battle each other over unpaid bills. At least two of those athletes live right here in the Bay Area and are sharing their stories with us tonight. 

The triathletes KTVU spoke with have been competing for over 20 years, and they say this is the first time they’ve ever had an issue shipping their bikes. Now the shipping company has filed a lawsuit, and the athletes still don’t have their bikes.  

"It's very sad and for this company, we trusted and paid good money to have them ship our bike, and it turns out they were taking this money and just not paying the vendors that they were working with," said Jimmy Dworkin, a Triathlete from Mountain View.    

Dworkin says he’s been competing in triathlons for 25 years and in September, he competed in the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Spain. He says he paid Tribike about $800 to ship his bike back to Sunnyvale after the finals, but he still hasn’t received it. Dworkin discovered he was one of 180 people whose bikes were being held by Horizon Entertainment Cargo, the shipping company working with Tribike.  

"One of the stipulations in the contracts we received copies of says they have it for 30 days. If the company Tribike doesn’t pay, they could potentially be auctioned off for pennies outside of Chicago. So, that’s another frustrating point," Dworkin said.    

Dworkin says his bike cost nearly $11,000. A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County on November 8th, claims Tribike owes Horizon nearly $320,000 for 13 unpaid shipments. Two of those shipments included bikes owned by Dworkin and Sheila Cotter. Cotter is a triathlete from Berkeley who’s been racing since 1999. She says she completely rebuilt her bike, and now it's stuck in a warehouse.   

"I have, over time, invested a lot of time and money making it fit me," said Cotter.   

Like Dworkin, Cotter also competed in Spain and says she needs her bike to start training again. But with a pending lawsuit and a hearing date set for January 11th, she’s losing hope she’ll ever get her bike back.  

"I thought this might be resolved relatively soon, and now I feel like it’s not going to be. So that’s where I’m kind of going through the acknowledgment that I’m not going to get it any time soon and what am I going to do?" Cotter said. 

Both Dworkin and Cotter say none of the bike owners have gotten any real answers from Tribike over the last few months. 

KTVU reached out to Tribike for comment but didn’t hear back from them in time for this report.