Shimano Evolution Stories

Evolution Stories: MS Makes Me | Episode 2

Video Andy McKenna and Andy McCandless

There's more to mountain biking than roosting turns, and more to MTB films than radical 'shreddits'. In the Evolution Stories series, rider Andy McKenna hits the trails with friends to put his struggles with incurable Multiple Sclerosis into perspective and help him regain his spark. This short film takes a deep dive into the therapeutic effects of mountain biking, the importance of escaping everyday life and being outside and in the saddle.

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.

EP2: MS Makes Me

In Episode 2 ‘MS MAKES ME’ Andy explores the Tweed Valley with first time mountain biker Jonny White - cyclist, husband, father, doctor and fellow MSer. Jonny balances all these things with his role as medical advisor to charity Overcoming MS - an organisation established to promote a positive lifestyle and help people with MS live long, healthy lives. It’s a lifestyle Andy and Jonny are thankful to have found.

In the workshop, on the trails and over the finest cup of trailside coffee - the duo shoot the breeze about some of the ways they manage the disabling effects of MS, the lessons MS has taught them, and the realisation that what they’ve learned may be equally important to everyone, not just those affected by Multiple Sclerosis. Jonny and Andy are who they are because of MS and the outlook, lifestyle changes and holistic strategies that Overcoming MS has helped them realise. More than simply a pill or an injection, their lives are shaped - and they believe saved - by a set of changes that help the healing power of the mind and body to work together.

This is a gentle tale of change and adaptation - two of the most predictably unpredictable themes of life, right? The familiar trope of ‘man conquers all in the face of adversity’ doesn’t particularly apply to this story. Finding resilience isn’t always easy: MS never stops. But like many bike riders, Andy and Jonny keep turning the pedals, climbing the hills and weaving the descents because that’s where they’ll find the fuel to fight another day.

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+1 Pete Roggeman

amazing region for riding, inspiring story


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