Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Multple Sclerosis: The MS Bike

Joseph’s MS Bike

Joseph’s MS Bike tells a story explaining Multiple Sclerosis.

While at a yard sale, laying on the lawn was a dirty old steel bike for $10.  Something about it attracted my attention. The rusted chain hung off the crank gears. The shredded cabling rubber dangled out of the shifter.  The bent wheels would never roll.  The seat rotted away, leaving only the metal frame. The logos and markings were long gone. For an offer of $5, I took it home and stashed it in the corner of the garage and forgot about it. As an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I give talks about MS and my life with MS. One morning, a dream memory remained. In the memory vision was that yard sale bike but rebuilt, bright with new colors that explained MS.  For ambassador talks, I am always looking for a better way to communicate MS topics and issues.

In a dream vision, I could see a new design perfectly. On the top, down and seat tubes are the words Live, Ride, Believe. The neuron painted on the head tube and forks represent the dark mystery of MS hiding its cause and cure. The lighter spots on the tubes show where MS attacks the myelin on the axons leaving its scars (sclerosis). The orange is for all MS heroes who help MSers and support efforts to find a cure. The white is the belief that MS will be cured. On the chainstay tubes are the words “Stop MS”

As we all know, seeing something in a dream and making it come true are two very different stories. The yard sale bike was a steel frame fitted with 27-inch wheels, 10-speed gears, and the lever gear shifters clamped on the downtube. The brake levers attached to the drop-down racing style handlebars. The bike ventage is in the late 1970s. In the dream, fresh and the new components replaced the original, only the frame and the fork remained.

The MS Bike took weeks to build. All the components had to be acquired.  After sandblasting the paint and rust off the frame,  new powder-coated paint made thee frame look new just off an assembly line. Wheels and gears, cables, brakes and shifters,  handlebars and a seat,  and MS Bike was ready to ride.

The dream became true. The Multiple Sclerosis bike story begins at the head tube where the neuron and axon image showed the dark mystery of MS, with no cause and no cure. The spots of yellow are the scars from the MS lesion. The orange is for all the people who have MS, the support partners and all the people helping to solve the mystery.  The white is the belief MS will be cured.

The MS Bike is Ready

The Parade Ready 

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