From a very, very, old book-
“It was 180 miles to Damascus, and ordinarily it would take men on horseback about seven days to make it. But Saul was in a passion and he would have none of the ordinary pace; both men and horses drove themselves to the breaking point. High noon that day they were riding wildly when suddenly a light brighter than the sun fell upon them. Their horses screamed in fear, rose in the air, and Saul was dashed, blind, to the ground.”
My Road Recalculated story began on a motorcycle ride home to New Hampshire from Hagerstown, Maryland. I was splattered in the face with a June-bug of awakening, but unlike the story of St. Paul, I had no desire or chance for sainthood. (I also did not fall off my bike)
However, at 44 years old I truly had found my calling; my purpose in life.
“I once was told a cure for MS was a million miles away,
so I figured I would just go get it and bring it back.”
- Longhaulpaul 2012
A man with MS….. A motorcycle….. A million miles…..
My name is Paul Pelland and my life’s road has been recalculated. I made a decision that day that has changed every aspect of my life. I decided to share and chronical my life long passion of long distance motorcycle riding, and for the first time, openly discussing and dealing with the everyday challenges brought on by having the disabling diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I plan to share all of it, including my long distance rides, my record attempts, my triumphs and also my defeats. Everything from choosing and building the perfect machine, choosing, modifying, and mounting highly specialized equipment, to choosing and planning each and every trip, endurance event, or record setting attempt. I will share every ride, every road, every mile. Please join me, climb aboard my bike, trip with me, and support my long term mission of documenting one million miles for MS. Through my blog Mile Posts, we can discuss the challenges, work on solutions, agree, argue, smile, frown, giggle, cry, and mostly laugh together.
My mission is called the Endless Road Tour, an odyssey of motorcycle adventures including endurance rallies, extreme rides, and attempts at setting a few motorcycle endurance records. My goal is to raise awareness of MS, while reaching out to others along the way who also have been dealt tough challenges in life; helping them recalculate their life’s road. The Endless Road Tour chronicles the ride, the road, the life, a journey of thousands and thousands of miles, at times pushing man and machine to the limits, driven by a passion, bringing the message of “finding your own road” to others with Multiple Sclerosis. Every day of every week, across the country there are events sponsored by MS organizations and pharmaceutical companies for MS patients, caregivers and professionals. There are hundreds of fundraising events as well. I will ride every day possible, with MS, for MS, travelling and speaking along the way as an MS patient advocate, telling and sharing my story as it continues to evolves in real time.
Through this mission, I hope to entertain, but also to encourage and empower others to continue chasing their dreams and goals; and to never stop pursuing their passions, whatever they may be. No matter how big the potholes are in the road ahead, there is always a way around them. For a few, the road is straight and easy, but most of us encounter some dirt, gravel, mud, rain, wind, snow, hail, detours, and U-turns. Those of us that have been dealt physical or cognitive challenges in the poker hand of life, have to plug a little harder, dig a little deeper, detour a little further, but we too can find a way to succeed. The trump card is to never stop trying, just keep on recalculating, because there is no such thing as a one-way, dead end street.
Those who are skeptical of what I may be able to accomplish should read my story of the amazing 11 day 11,000 mile Ironbutt Rally, and my unstoppable desire to cross the finish line while riding what would equate to a Ford Model T (No offense, Henry), entering the Indy 500. Not a single soul on earth thought I would make it, not even the bike’s manufacturer. Although the main antagonist then was clearly the machine, and now will be more the man, my passion, my drive, my ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome no matter what; is now even stronger.
There are MILLIONS of miles of roads on this earth, each and every one of them intersected with crossroads representing different paths, and therefore not all of us are supposed to take the fastest route. Slow down, recalculate, detour, wander or shift, because a round-about can still get you to your goal, and believe me, sometimes that ride, that journey, that side trip adventure, will become much more important than your destination.
ONE MILLION MILES
My Mission is to ride one million MS miles…………….
There are so many places to go, so many things to see, how did I start?
September 29th, 2012 I set a world record by riding 1000 miles in under 24 hours, on 100 different motorcycles. The 100 SADDLESSore 1000 was my very first fundraiser for the National MS Society.
I plan to break a second world record by attempting to document riding 32 or more, 1000-mile days. That’s 32,000 miles in 32 days.
The main itinerary of the Endless Road Tour is to ride to various MS events, conferences, and support group meetings across the country, riding, writing, and reaching out. To raise awareness, I also present seminars across the country at motorcycle rallies, shows and club gatherings. My painfully humorous presentation of “Having MS is Like Riding a Russian URAL in the Iron Butt Rally” has entertained audiences from Americade to the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days to Aerostich’s Very Boring Rally 3. My highly modified bike and I are available for rallies, dealer open houses, bike shows and special events as well. Remember, I need to rack up a million miles! I have a few other seminars up my sleeve as well, stay tuned!
To book a presentation or appearance at your MS or Motorcycle event, please contact me!
Since February 2013, in addition to my popular blog, I have been writing a regular column for ABILITY Magazine, as well as stories and updates from the road and product reviews in Iron Butt Magazine and a few others. Look for my work in more magazines as my journey unfolds.
If you want to read my latest posts, sign up for my blog updates. Invite your friends to do so as well. If you feel the urge to open your wallet, please donate to the Longhaulpaul tribute page located on the National MS Society’s Website.
If you ride, and really want to show your support, please join me in riding the MS5000, my annual nationwide motorcycle fundraising event. Ride as many miles as you can for 50 days between April 1st and May 20th for Multiple Sclerosis. Registration opens February 1st. Join the FUN!
In the first year of the MS5000, participants rode over 200,000 miles and raised $24,000 for the National MS Society!
Ride for a Reason.
Thank you for your continued support.
Any day you can ride is a good day!
P.S. When I do hit the one million mile mark, I’m going to take a week off, wash the bike, then start planning my next mission:
To become the first person with MS to ride a motorcycle in space!