For some people the excuse of not going out for a ride can be easily put off by the weather, or the universal passion-killer, “I’m too busy”. For a guy like Paul Pelland, he’s been braving the weather and MS while making long distance motorcycle riding his favorite thing to be busy at. The man, the myth, the legend, the self-proclaimed semi-professional heckler. There is no doubt he is looking MS in the eye and telling it, they picked the wrong guy if they thought they were going try to slow someone down. We took a look into his unique story and are happy to share his amazing accomplishments, unique fundraisers and full on passion for motorcycling.
Who is long haul Paul?
To the seat of his beloved Yamaha Super Tenere he is a well known warm spot, to those faced with the challenge of MS, he is somewhat of an inspiration and to the motorcycle community he is a pillar of achievements with which the bar has been raised. Paul Pelland is an avid motorcycle enthusiast with more than 28years and around 800,000 miles logged of riding. An inspirational speaker, multiple world record holder, writer, medical research guinea pig, fundraiser and family man. In August 2005 he was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS), after had started to become aware of a number of MS related symptoms. From here he began to look at life differently and make some radical changes in its direction. This spawned the idea of “Chasing the cure”, a breathtaking number of adventures and fundraisers focused on personal accomplishment, inspiring others and the MS community as a whole. All the while not losing focus of riding one-million miles with MS, for MS.
What is MS?
As with many diseases what you think you know and what the facts are, can often be a little further apart then what you might have envisioned. In an effort to keep the facts straight we took this brief explanation right from the LongHaulPaul.com website. “Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, causing inflammation of the nervous system. There is no cure, but there are now disease modifying drugs which have proven to slow down the disabling course of the disease. Symptoms of the disease are increasing loss of coordination, numbness and muscle weakness.”
A few of Paul’s accomplishments
You probably didn’t get out of bed this morning thinking what you might do to achieve your next world record. Well once you’ve banged the bells of personal achievement enough times, you start to look where else you might be able to make some noise. For Paul, one world record wasn’t enough, so he went for another to add to his long list checked-off goals. World record number one was set on September 29th, 2012, by riding one-thousand miles in twenty-four-hours on one-hundred different motorcycles. Why stop at simply riding a thousand miles when you can do it on a hundred different bikes.
Next up for the world record awards to hang on the fridge would need require upping the cleverness a bit, and so he did. On November 6th, 2016, with all the stars and well all the time zones aligning, Paul managed to ride twenty-eight-hours in one calendar day. Now, I’ll let you sit and think that over for a second here, then will explain the details. On the day when America was going to set its clocks back, Paul readied his bike to cross four time zones and over two-thousand miles all in one calendar day. A feat that would involve precise planning and allow for few hiccups. If you’ve ever wondered how to look at a problem differently to find a solution, this my friends is the pinnacle of thinking outside the box. His efforts would also bring in $6000 for the National MS Society and more awareness to its cause.
The list of equally notable accomplishments includes hilarious ideas like riding a 250cc scoter from Boston to Chicago in a powder blue tuxedo for the “Dumb and Dumber” inspired fundraiser. Logging over 300,000 miles to date on his way to 1,000,000. Raising over $100,000 for MS, ridden 11,000miles in 11days in the Ironbutt rally, 1st place in the Keystone 1000, 2nd place in the Tobacco road, and has his first Yamaha Super Tenere, “CURECHASER”, that was retired with 172,000 miles. The Yamaha now rests on display at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham Alabama, the world’s largest motorcycle museum.
If you had to be a medical guinea pig for anything, I think motorcycle treatment therapy would be the best possible option available. Unlike the warnings that come with other test trials like; large toe inflammation, strong onion cravings, irritating fingernail rash and on goes the list from that fast talking voice at the end of medical commercials. The side effects of MotoMedicine can be enjoyed, rather than dreaded and are more beneficial than painful. Paul believes that the relaxing enjoyment from riding his bike for hours on end can actually be linked to measurable medicinal benefits. If you are a biker you have probably went for a ride to get in a little helmet time and do some thinking. Or possible rode your bike to blow off a little steam, coming back relaxed and clear headed. It’s benefits like this that Paul and his medical team feel translate into actual results that are helping to manage his Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, and they are using this as part of his disease treatment. I wonder if it’s going to be as easy to get a Medical Motorcycle Card as it is to get a Medical Marijuana Card.
Paul feels so passionate about the results of his motorcycle treatment that he has put together a seminar and hit the road to share the results with the world. His MotoMedicine seminars can be seen at various locations throughout the USA or you can book him exclusively for events. He’s even gotten a little cheeky with the fundraising and put together some medically inspired t-shirts, with clever prescriptions printed on them. Shirts like the “If I’m off my bike I’m off my meds”, or the apple a day childhood version remixed into “A ride a day keeps the doctor away”. The sale of each of these clever designs puts another hundred-miles of sponsorship funding towards his million-mile goal. If you’re in the giving mood, why not place an order for 10,000 shirts and get this dream fully funded.
Confessions of a motorcycle whore
For some good solid savvy entertainment for your mind while your eyes do all the work, you can check out some of the witty and captivating stories he puts up on his blog. A guy who wears more hats than a millinery, is sure to have more stories than Dr. Seuss. We took a read from some of Paul’s most notable excerpts and can tell you they are worth checking out. Stories like the Mason Dixson 20-20, 30 hour endurance rally, where he tells of endless trial and tribulations on the way to a finish line that was practically within spitting distance before the bike finally had enough. Overall it was an 1,800 mile, 30 hour rally, that included 7 breakdowns, 6 on-road fixes and finally a seized engine 30 miles from the finish line, all topped off with a ride home on the back of a new Goldwing.
Or the Tobacco road rally story, Confessions of a motorcycle whore. Where Paul comes to terms with things like “I have come to realize for the past year and a half, I have been willing to ride just about anything. It was never about love or friendship, it never mattered if the bike was my type or not, hell, I was never even attracted to any of my last five motorcycles. I just wanted to ride them. It didn’t matter if I hurt any of them in the process; every bike I got on was ridden hard, and put away wet. As soon as I was finished with the bike, it was abandoned like a worn out sock. I used them for my own pleasure, then discarded them. Not once did I ever think about or miss the ones from my past. I never cared about any of them.”
These are surely worth a read and a great way to get a look into the mind of a man who spends as much time in the saddle of a motorcycle as most people do in a t-shirt. Paul’s a one-of-a-kind guy, with certainly one-of-a-kind stories to share.
How can you get involved
If ever in your life you thought the cards might be stacked against you and things were feeling unfair, if ever you’ve looked at the dark clouds outside and your dry bike in the garage and thought the drizzle of the day might ruin the finish on your favorite boots. A guy like long haul Paul should be a nice reminder that no matter the mood and no matter the weather, today is the perfect day to get out for a ride. With a life altering disease like MS not slowing him down, actually it seems to be speeding him up, Paul has set ablaze a noble trail for all riders to follow or perhaps encourage to set a trail of their own. Philanthropist, speaker, writer, world record holder, crazy guy on the interstate with a powder blue suit riding a scooter, it shows that the ride to the finish line is more about the journey than the goal. If you are looking to get some inspiration for your team check out his website www.longhaulpaul.com where you can do as little as buy a MotoMedicine t-shirt, go watch him speak or book your own speaking engagement directly. If you thought the cure to your problems was a million miles away, would you hop on your bike and get it?