Rider Resilience and Stoked On MS – The Ride It Out Show

by 3

When two of the most inspirational and lovely people in the bike world come together in a video, you know you’ve got to tune in.

Nils Amelinckx, winner of the Singletrack Reader Award for Best Writer 2022, meets Andy McKenna for his second episode of The Ride It Out Show. There’s chat about how Andy continues to manage his MS, plus the pair head out for that all important ride to top up the soul. Better still, they get to ride out from Andy’s home in the Tweed Valley, that Singletrack Reader Award Winner for Best Trail Network.

It’s a deep dive of a conversation. How do they get through the bad days, and believe better ones will come? How do their illnesses affect the people around them that they love? What vision do they have for the world they will eventually leave behind, and how can they make it happen? Whatever your own circumstances, you can’t fail to find something in here to help inspire and support you.

The second Ride It Out Show features special guest Andy McKenna, who — following his diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis way back when in 2007, has taken a different strategy to most by going down a more homeopathic healing route that includes things like stress management and, crucially, riding bikes. Andy has been an inspiration to many throughout the years; initially focusing head in the sand on his guiding business GoWhere Scotland, to now building a community called “Stoked on MS” to share some positivity and best practices.

Be sure to check out Nil’s project Rider Resilience.

Join our mailing list to receive Singletrack editorial wisdom directly in your inbox.

Each newsletter is headed up by an exclusive editorial from our team and includes stories and news you don’t want to miss.

Sign up to receive awesome editorial content from Hannah every week.

Check your inbox for our confirmation email and click the link to activate your newsletter.
We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Author Profile Picture
Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

More posts from Hannah

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Rider Resilience and Stoked On MS – The Ride It Out Show
  • garburn
    Free Member

    Thanks for sharing this episode guys!

    Any feedback, whether good or bad would be massively appreciated! This is all new to me and I’d be more than happy to take any pointers.

    But if you like what you see, hit that subscribe button etc. ;-). Sounding like a true YouTuber already

    Full Member

    Hi Garburn,

    May I ask… are you Nils? (No need to answer that on a live forum if you don’t want to. The rest of my reply is sort of addressing Nils).

    I only recently discovered Nils after reading the “Excess baggage” article in STW (I always read the magazines a month or two late). The story resonated strongly with me and I thought that I might try and get in touch with Nils; I very much liked his inspiring attitude that I found, in some ways hopefully, similar to mine. I also wondered if I might be able to help out or support in some way at some point. Obviously, I never got around to this as things were getting busy for me and I kept going out on my bike instead!

    Fast-forward to yesterday when I was very pleased to learn that Nils had won a STW Reader Award and had this new video circulating. I decided to have a search around for more information on Rider Resilience and also watched the first Ride It Out Show episode with Martyn Ashton. I’ve only had chance to watch the first few minutes of Episode 2 so can’t comment about that directly just yet.

    The whole concept of what Nils and friends is doing is amazing. As Martyn commented, I too believe that most of us all have an un-tapped inner strength that may only appear when we are in times of real need. But often that inner strength can waver and wobble a bit. In our more difficult moments, as we battle our personal difficulties and challenges, dark thoughts can quickly overtake us… we can find ourselves in a pit of despair. Stories like Martyn’s, Nils’ and Andy’s are important lifelines that can inspire people to climb back out of that pit, to not give up, and to get back on their bloody bikes!
    It’s powerful stuff.

    You guys are doing a good thing here. I would like to join you in some way to spread the word and the work that you are doing. And to ride my bike more 🙂

    Yes, I have an emerging story too; I’ve tried to document some of it here… http://www.andypshaw.co.uk

    Off to get my pre-chemo bloods done now… cycling there obviously 🙂

    Full Member

    Hi Garburn,

    I’ve now watched Episode 2. I thought it was great; I now know so much more about MS (and Andy) than I did before.
    I like the format of you visiting people to meet/interview them. Being a nosey sort, I would have liked to see a little bit more about Andy’s “normal stuff”. The view from his window; his bike collection; other things he’s doing, and maybe a bit more about his local trails.

    I’m really disappointed over the seemingly poor response you’ve got here, and I do hope you have had a greater number of responses via private messages. If you had asked: “Which bobble hat for the discerning 45 year old?”… “Which carbo-tanium fandangle for my bike that I can’t be bothered to ride anyway?”… or something about a kitchen appliance, then you would have been inundated with responses.

    And, I think, there lies the problem: you are raising a very important topic on a forum where most people come to distract themselves for an hour. People are happier to retain a level of dissonance. In my experience, people are sympathetic and will chuck a fiver in a collection pot, but they like to maintain a space between themselves and ill people. They know they could become that seriously unwell person at any time, but that’s to horrific to consider. Much easier to maintain a safety margin. “Let the poorly people carry on with their thing…poor them… I’m ok… have a tenner…keeping my fingers in my ears… lalala”

    There maybe another angle to this. Take your average guy: he has enough money, a nice home and a collection of tidy bikes. But he isn’t satisfied with life. Does that guy want to hear about the person who has a year left to live whom is striving to live each day to the full? Will our average guy be inspired by that person? Or will that person make our average guy feel even worse about himself? I don’t have an answer! It’s probably a 10/90 ratio in my experience.

    Like everyone else, my thoughts are based on my experiences. I was the bloke with his fingers in his ears. 20 years ago, a friend of mine was paralysed in a motorbike accident (neck down). Within a few years he took his own life (assisted obviously). I went to his funeral. I have always felt guilty and ashamed by this behaviour of mine. If there is an afterlife, then I can’t wait to see him to try and make amends. (I don’t believe there is an afterlife btw!). As Martyn Ashton described, life-changing events can turn us into better people. I hope so anyway!

    So, maybe, you need a different audience? Target, support and encourage those who already have life-limiting issues? Macmillan forums, wheelchair forums, blind/deaf forums, etc. I don’t know! Another option might be to include more “regular” stuff in your interviews. But then you might lose your unique angle and approach to collating these inspirational stories.

    Me?… Occupational therapist specialised in mental health and forensic psychiatry. Also, very practical and can fix most things… but not computers! Also in the club with Stage 4 / advanced / metastatic / incurable cancer. As before, I’m happy to help where I can. Slightly reduced capacity at present owing to on-going chemo, etc. but happy to try.

    All the best,

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.