In Evolution Stories Episode 2, ‘MS Makes Me’, Andy McKenna explores the Tweed Valley with first-time mountain biker Jonny White – cyclist, husband, father, doctor and fellow MSer.
What if you were told you’d never ride your mountain bike again? The critically acclaimed film ’Evolution’ – released in October 2022 – delved into Shimano-supported rider Andy McKenna’s approach to a life where this hard hypothetical is a heavy truth.
Andy’s e-MTB was the life-changing lightener of his incurable challenges. In the next chapter of Evolution Stories, we follow our Scottish soulful explorer astride his EP8-equipped Santa Cruz Heckler. Andy’s in search of answers to the harder questions in life, hitting the trails with new friends, tracking that spark of vitality to its most optimistic end.
The series shines a light on Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) - the unsung hero charity committed to improving the lives of people like Andy who are affected by MS.
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 organization 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 shoots the breeze about some of the ways they manage the disabling effects of MS, the lessons MS has taught them, and the realization 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 realize. 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 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. In this episode, we also meet Jonny’s wife Jenny – she couldn’t resist the lure of experiencing the world-famous Tweed Valley trails, and we can’t really blame her! Ably guided by Andy’s wife Aneela, we see another dimension of the uncertain story they find themselves scripted into.
This is a gentle tale of change and adaptation, two of life's most predictably unpredictable themes, 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.