As the motorcycle fans rally in Johnstown, one man who stopped at the event, is on a mission to explain the healing powers of riding on two wheels.
“I truly believe that riding a motorcycle is actually improving my health,” Paul Pelland says. Pelland, better known as “Long Haul Paul,” was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis eleven years ago.
“I believe a mile a day keeps the doctor away, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
He’s looking to help others dealing with MS. So far he’s traveled 171,000 miles in three years on his motorcycle.
“That’s when I decided I wanted to take my motorcycle, travel all across the country, share my story, and try to inspire other people who have MS to continue following what they’re passionate about, and for me it’s motorcycling.”
This weekend he’s stopping in Johnstown for Thunder in the Valley.
“I just want to encourage them to find something they’re passionate about and to make that passion more important than their disease.”
Pelland says last summer he traveled from his home in New Hampshire to Anchorage Alaska, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oregon. All together last year he talked to 50 different groups about MS.
“I do some motorcycle fundraising. The past 4 years I’ve raised almost $100,000 for the National MS Society.”
When originally diagnosed Pelland says he was told a cure for MS was a million miles away, so he figured he would go and get it and bring it back while doing what he loves.
While traveling, he speaks at rallies like Thunder in the Valley, and other seminars. He says he doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“I love the motorcycle community. The motorcycle community is a very giving community.”