Evolution Stories: Building better humans | Episode 1
What the hell is a fist turkey? When one person reaches for the high five and the other goes for the fist bump! It's a fitting image of the slight disconnect that can occur between men who want to discuss their mental health but may struggle to figure out how to do it.
In episode 1 of this new series, Andy McKenna takes Scottish cycling legend Jimmy McCallum on his first ever bikepacking adventure (let alone his first time camping) so they can bond and discuss Jimmy's struggles with mental health since his retirement as a cycling pro.
In typical fashion for Andy and filmmaking partner Andy McCandlish, the film is beautifully shot, and has a lighthearted nature that makes it easier to appreciate the serious nature of the subject matter.
From the filmmakers:
[Trigger Warning: includes themes around mental health, suicide and loss/bereavement.]
What if you weren’t able to ride your mountain bike ever again? Critically acclaimed film ‘Evolution’ (released October 2022) delved into Shimano supported rider Andy McKenna’s approach to a life where this threat hangs heavy. Andy’s e-mtb was the life changing enabler that made light of his incurable challenges. In the next chapter - Evolution Stories - we find our hairy Scottish explorer on a new quest: when Andy can’t quite find the answers he’s seeking from within - he saddles up his EP8 equipped Santa Cruz Heckler, hits the trails and explores Scotland with new friends where he hopes to regain his vital spark.
The series also shines a light on Overcoming MS (OMS) - the unsung Multiple Sclerosis hero charity committed to improving the lives of people like Andy who are affected by MS.
EP1 :: BUILDING BETTER HUMANS
In the first episode, Andy meets Jimmy Mac - a living legend of Scottish cycling. A former professional medal-winning road racer, Jimmy now pours a lifetime’s experience at the sharp end of the sport into his coaching life - building the future stars of road, track and mountain.
Behind Jimmy’s steely focus, determination and wicked sense of humour lies a demon or two he battles with greater frequency than he’d wish. Swapping training plans and smashing cols for school runs and changing diapers, finding relevance in the world after the end of a professional cycling career has been a tough pill to swallow, and coming to terms with the void of recently losing close friends from within the sport - Jimmy’s life is at a crucial tipping point.
This story is an emotional rollercoaster played out on two wheels, in real time. How does Jimmy find the perspective to keep moving forward, and can Andy learn anything from Jimmy’s philosophy? Join the duo on Jimmy’s first ever bikepacking adventure - where they explore the beauty of Scotland’s South East coastline together - in search of fresh outlooks, fire and fist turkeys*.
*When one person reaches for the high five and the other goes for the fist bump!