Andy McKenna is telling stories again, as he continues to ponder what it means to be a mountain biker as his MS limits what he can do, while his mind and soul still appreciate all that bikes can do. Forum threads along the lines of ‘I haven’t ridden for ages/ every ride feels worse than the last/ I might be too old for this/ Is this even mountain biking any more’ are a fairly regular occurrence. For those wrestling with the changing face of physical ability, or even just the time in life to do what you want, Andy’s video may just spark the enthusiasm to get out there for a ride – any ride.
Image credits: Andy McCandlish
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!
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’re following 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. In the first episode, Andy meets James “Jimmy” McCallum a living legend of Scottish cycling. As a once-professional medal-winning road racer, Jimmy now pours a lifetime’s experience living at the sharp end of the sport into his coaching life, building the future stars of the road, track, and mountain.
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.
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